Local Marine Corps Vet Still Awaiting Trial
Published: May 22, 2013
Esparza has asked for continued mental health care while Castañeda’s in jail, hoping to keep him in counseling while he stays on his meds. But the Hill County Community MHMR (mental health and mental retardation) Center hasn’t stepped in, she’s told, because the jail’s psychiatrist hasn’t asked for it. When finally reached by phone Monday morning, Dr. Cesar Garcia refused to answer questions and hung up.
Esparza said she asked her son this week the last time he saw Dr. Garcia; he told her he’s only seen the doctor once since returning from the state hospital.
Meanwhile, Esparza says family has been left in the dark about the progress of Castañeda’s pending legal case. His defense attorney, Gina Jones, did not return calls. The Comal County DA’s office did not return numerous calls for comment last week.
Castañeda’s trial was reset for the second time last week. Family members who had planned to testify on his behalf, and who had already made travel arrangements to attend, were angered.
“It’s not only an inconvenience for us, but it’s a slap in the face that this has happened again,” said sister Vanessa Castañeda, who planned to fly in from California.
“I’m really concerned that because of the long wait, he’s just going to flip back into a really dark place.”
Esparza says it appears Castañeda already has. And that, she fears, will not bode well for him at his eventual trial, which has been rescheduled for next month. She worries prosecutors will point to Castañeda’s apparent deterioration to try to convince a jury he’s dangerous.
“How long can competency last while in isolation?” Esparza said.
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