Fresno man sentenced to prison for killing homeless man

The Fresno BeeFebruary 26, 2014 

Frank Ruben Castillo

A Fresno man was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years to life in prison killing a homeless man nearly two years ago by stomping on the victim's head as he slept on the ground.

Frank Ruben Castillo, 49, sought a lesser sentence of 20 years to life in prison, but Judge Wayne Ellison denied the request in Fresno County Superior Court.

Ellison said he could not overlook Castillo's prior convictions, which included the 1984 armed kidnap of a woman who the judge said was raped by Castillo's relative.

Castillo also has felony convictions for assault, domestic violence and theft, prosecutor Sam Dalesandro said.

In November, a jury found Castillo guilty of second-degree murder in the April 9, 2012 slaying of 44-year-old Johnny Salvio outside a southeast Fresno radiator shop near First Street and Tulare Avenue.

In the trial, Dalesandro said Castillo killed Salvio because he was upset that Salvio had gotten into a fight with a woman, who ended up going to jail.

The prosecution's case included one of Salvio's friends who testified that he saw Castillo kicking Salvio as he slept. In addition, when Castillo was arrested a few days later, the victim's blood was still on his shoes, Dalesandro said.

Attorney Douglas Foster, who defended Castillo, said his client didn't intend to kill Salvio. In fact, the two men had shared beers together before Salvio was killed, he said.

Right before he left the courtroom in chains, Castillo expressed his condolences for Salvio's family.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6434, or @beecourts on Twitter.

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