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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: John Castro

Extra security at rap murder arraignment

Top to bottom, left to right, are Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23. All are wanted on assault charges related to the murder.

UPDATE: All suspects except Stafone Fuentes and Rashad Toussiant have been arrested.

Law enforcement officers were in Spokane County Superior Court today to provide extra security at the arraignment of murder suspect John “Lil Danger” Castro, who is accused of shooting another rapper at a Spokane hotel.

Castro (pictured left) pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, riot, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree assault for a Nov. 27 fight that ended with the shooting death of Jose A. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake, at a Spokane hotel.  His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 27, but that likely will be postponed.

Castro, 27, remains in jail on $1 million bond. Public defender Anna Nordtvedt said a request to reduce his bond is to be heard on Thursday. Castro faces life in prison if convicted because of two previous violent felony convictions that qualify him for the state's three-strikes law.

Eight other men are charged with assault in connection with the case. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of the six pictured above.

Sheriff's deputies and Spokane police provided extra security at Castro's arraignment before Judge Annette Plese, which was attended by Solis's friends and family. No incidents were reported.

Police believe Castro shot Solis after Solis and other men tried to help their friend who was being assaulted.

Castro and the other suspects went to the Quality Inn on East Third Avenue after a rap concert and were kicked out of a party hosted by the Moses Lake men, police say.

One of the men argued with a woman in the hallway, and he and others began assaulting her boyfriend. The woman and a friend ducked into a room and called for help as the men continued to assault her boyfriend and kick the door to the room, according to police. Solis and others arrived from another floor to help, and Solis was shot int he chest, police say.

Surveillance video captured the suspects running to and from the melee.

Detectives are reviewing Castro's work as the rapper “Lil Danger” as they continue to investigate the case.

Reward targets suspects in hotel murder

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest of six men charged for their alleged roles in a fatal shooting involving two aspiring rappers at a Spokane hotel.

Pictured above, top to bottom, left to right, are Jermaine S. Bedford, 22; Kalen J. Bedford, 21; Rashad F. Toussiant, 25; Roderick D. Shanks, 21; Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes, 27; and Tyrone J. Carell, 23.

All are wanted for second-degree assault except Fuentes, who is charged with first-degree assault.

The charges stem from a Nov. 27 fight at the Quality Inn, 110 E. Third Ave., that led to the shooting death of Jose J. “Junior” Solis, 21, of Moses Lake. 

Aaron A. Maxwell, 23, Anthony L. Fuentes, 29, and Michael J. Charles, 34; already have been arrested. John A. “Lil Danger” Castro, 27, (pictured) was arrested just after the homicide and remains in jail on a second-degree murder charge. Castro faces life in prison if convicted under the state's three-strikes law because of his criminal history.

Police believe Castro shot Solis to death in a wild fight that began when the Spokane group tried to attend a party at the hotel hosted by the Moses Lake group, who were in town for a rap concert at Ichiban Sushi Lounge at which Solis performed.

The Spokane men were kicked out, and Jermaine Bedford insulted a female friend of the Moses Lake men, Jazman Quarles, and challenged her boyfriend to a fight, police say. A wild fight ensued, and Quarles and a friend hid in a room and called their friends to help her boyfriend, who was being assaulted in the hallway. They arrived, including Solis, and the fight continued, ending in the gunshot that killed Solis. Witnesses identified the gunman as Castro.

Hotel surveillance video does not show the shooting but does show the participants running to and from the confrontation, according to court documents prepared by Spokane police major crimes Detective Kip Hollenbeck.

Police believe the Moses Lake men only acted in self defense during the fight.

Fuentes, 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, last gave an address in the 300 block of West Shannon Avenue. His criminal history includes convictions for first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and escape. He was jailed briefly last summer after news of his uncle’s murder outside a rap concert in Montana in June revealed to his probation officer that he’d left the state without permission.

Jermaine Bedford, 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, last gave an address in the 300 block of East Queen Avenue. His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault and riot.

Kalen Bedford, 6-foot-4 and 160 pounds, last gave an address in the 1300 block of West Qualchan Drive. His criminal history includes a conviction for delivery of a controlled substance.

Carell, 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds, last gave an address in the 200 block of East Wedgewood Avenue. His criminal history includes conviction for second-degree assault. He was arrested in November after police investigating a 2007 homicide saw marijuana in his apartment.

Shanks, 6-foot-2 and 155 pounds, last gave an address in the 200 block of South Wall Street. His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault and second-degree robbery.

Toussiant, 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, last gave an address in the 3000 block of North Lacey Street. His criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault, malicious harassment and bail jumping. A conviction for intimidating a public servant was dismissed upon appeal.

Anyone with information on the current location of any of the six men is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online.

Murder suspect, victim aspiring rappers

A 21-year-old man shot to death at a Spokane hotel early Sunday tried to intervene in a fight when he was shot in the chest by a man his friends recognized as an aspiring young local rapper, witnesses told police.

 Witnesses told police that victim Jose A. “Junior” Solis, Jr., was part of a rap group from Moses Lake in town for a concert at a downtown bar when a fight broke out with the suspected gunman, identified by detectives as John Anthony Castro, 27 (pictured).

Castro, who raps under the name “Lil Danger,” remains in jail on $1 million bond after appearing in Spokane County District Court Monday on a second-degree murder charge. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole under Washington’s three-strikes law because of two previous violent convictions.

Read the rest of my story here.

Accused killer has long criminal history

In this Nov. 14, 2003, photo, John Castro talks with police and Spokane SWAT members from a roof on East Gordon Avenue after barging inside, kicking out the residents and daring the police to shoot him. (SRPhoto/Jed Conklin)

A 27-year-old man suspected of shooting another man to death in a fight at a downtown Spokane hotel has an extensive criminal history. 

John Anthony Castro (pictured in 2009) was released from prison in July 2007 after serving three years and four months for second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, delivery of cocaine, attempt to elude police and first-degree malicious mischief, according to court records.

He was arrested in November 2003 after a standoff with police that began six hours earlier when he left a home he had invaded and led police on a high-speed chase through residential neighborhoods. Castro was released from Department of Corrections supervision in July 2010.

Now he's back in custody on a second-degree murder charge for a fatal shooting at the Quality inn, 110 E. Fourth Ave., about 2:40 a.m. on Sunday.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting on autopsy on the 21-year-old victim today. He has been identified as Jose Arturo Solis. Castro is being held on $1 million bond. Read more here.

Steven Tramp, the manager of Quality Inn, said the shooting involved a group originating in Moses Lake was occupying a dozen rooms at the hotel after attending a concert in Spokane.  Read more from Pia Hallenberg's story here.

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