Locally notorious whackadoo Vincent Mark Castillo, 43, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday in a Jefferson Parish, Louisiana courtroom for the crime of — wait for it — getting a bogus restraining order against his girlfriend and then openly selling all of her things at two garage sales while Jefferson Parish deputies restrained her from approaching her own home. That’s the latest report on the strange case from Paul Purpura for the New Orleans-based Times-Picayune (TP).
Yikes. I think we can all assume that tricking Jefferson Parish deputies into holding back your girlfriend while you sell her stuff isn’t a crime the officers take lightly.
Judge Donald Fendlason handed down the sentence, along with a demand that restrains Castillo from approaching his girlfriend, Lea Fink, for the rest of her life. Purpura said that Castillo reacted rather badly. Although he was shackled, he managed to jump up and scream, “I’m not going to listen to this. Just get out of here with your little sermonette.” He probably didn’t win any hearts and minds when he refused to sign the restraining order either.
Insulting the judge probably wasn’t the smartest move. Castillo will be returning to court to face charges that he’s a career criminal, which could extend his sentence to as much as 24 years. He’ll also face charges of stalking and abusing his ex.
Louisiana TV station KSLA reported in September 2011 that Castillo was struck from the voting ballots when he confessed that he’d previously served time in prison for two counts of attempted extortion. We’re not sure who he thought would vote for him, but he was running for the office of governor — a post ultimately won by the incumbent Bobby Jindal.
The colorful Castillo is also an amateur lawyer. For instance, in the Supreme Court of Louisiana he argued…well…we’re not really sure what he argued. The court wasn’t sure either. They just knew that they didn’t like it. Most of the 13 page decision was spent explaining to Castillo why his various arguments wouldn’t apply.
Our wild and crazy garage sale guy did get one sympathetic hearing — from a Ohio attorney named Jeff Gamso who blogs far, far away from where he’ll ever have to deal with Castillo’s antics in person. In an opinion piece called, “Because We Have the Power to F**k Our Clients” — only, you know, with the crucial asterisks removed — Gamso argued that Castillo may have a point about some weaknesses in the way that the state of Louisiana provides a defense for people who can’t afford to hire an attorney.
Maybe so, but with friends like that, I’m not sure that Castillo needs any enemies. The tactful title of Gamso’s argument would probably have most Jefferson Parish authorities blowing steam out of both ears.
TP’s Purpura noted that Castillo is so infamous for suing anybody and everybody he meets, including his own attorneys, let alone the judge and opposition, that the Louisiana Supreme Court had to name a retired judge to pass yesterday’s sentence.
A truly mind-boggling list of cases brought by Castillo is on record with Findlaw, summing up many of his multiple complaints before the Louisiana Court of Appeals. According to that report, nothing makes this dude happy. In 2002, he claimed that he was falsely incarcerated in the St. Charles Correctional Center — but he wouldn’t go when they released him.
According to the 2007 decision: “Mr. Castillo was free to leave the correctional center, but refused to do so. As a result, Mr. Castillo was forcibly removed by sheriff’s deputies who drove him to Kenner.”
Kenner is in Jefferson Parish, outside the boundaries of St. Charles Parish. Hey, I’d want to be rid of him too.
Jefferson Parish is also where he was sentenced yesterday. Purpura’s report added that while he was awaiting trial and sentencing, Castillo actually sent the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court “rat and cockroach carcasses.”
Yum yum. Do you think 10 years is too harsh a sentence for Vincent Castillo’s crimes, or do you think the garage sale guy was kinda, sorta asking for it?