Castro could testify against girlfriend in Pass beating case | AspenTimes.com

Castro could testify against girlfriend in Pass beating case

Chad Abraham

The boyfriend of a girl who is charged with attempted first-degree murder in the beating of a young runaway on Independence Pass may testify for the prosecution.Jaime Castro, 18, of Aspen, who reached a plea deal and was sentenced earlier this month for his role in the attack, could be a key witness for the district attorney’s office in its case against Cinthia Romero.The 16-year-old resident of Bakersfield, Calif., appeared in district court Monday. Before Castro pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, his case and Romero’s had been consolidated.Investigators say the teens drove a girl who had run away with Romero up Independence Pass and beat her with a golf club on Oct. 9, 2004, leaving her bloodied on the roadside. Good Samaritans found the girl and drove her to the hospital, where she spent a month recovering from two skull fractures and other injuries.The girl had told the couple before the beating that she wanted to return home and would tell on Romero for running away, if necessary. Investigators believe that led to the near-fatal assault.The couple was arrested about three months later after police in Virginia found them living together.While Castro reached a plea deal, Romero’s case has continued to move closer to a trial on Nov. 8. But at yesterday’s hearing, her attorney, Arnie Mordkin, said he wasn’t sure what was happening with the case.Deputy District Attorney Andrew Heyl said that Mordkin had received all of the information from the district attorney’s office that had been given to Castro’s defense team. He also said he will file a motion for additional witnesses, including Castro, and added that more forensic work could be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.”Testing is not complete,” Heyl said.Mordkin countered that it was the prosecution’s problem to get the laboratory tests accomplished, not his or Romero’s.”My client is in jail. We’re not going to continue this trial because they can’t get their work done,” he said.Heyl said that it was Mordkin who requested the laboratory work.”We can’t control” the speed of CBI’s work, he said. The lab tests are something “we don’t feel we need.”Romero, who’s also charged with assault with a deadly weapon, will next appear in court Aug. 15. Judge James Boyd set an Aug. 11 deadline for Mordkin to file pretrial motions.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com

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