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Murderer will get first chance to leave prison when he is same age pastor victim would have been at sentencing


A judge says that a New Hampshire murderer will have his first chance at freedom at age 64 – the age that the victim, 60-year-old Pastor Luis Garcia, would have been at sentencing.

The defendant, Brandon Castiglione, 29, expressed sympathy at the hearing on Friday.

“I first want to express my sympathy and deep condolences for the loss of Luis Garcia,” he said. “The last four years have been a tough time, not only for this family, but everybody that was involved in this situation.”

Jurors convicted Castiglione of second-degree murder as charged on May 15, 2023.

Representing himself in court, he asked for a “fair and right” sentence. Judge David Ruoff settled on 42 years to life. Garcia would have turned 64 this past Aug. 22.

“And I chose that 42-year mark because at parole, with the pretrial confinement credit, you’ll be released at 64 years of age, which is the age that Mr. Garcia would be on the 22nd of August,” Ruoff said. “I think that’s appropriate in this case so when you walk out, maybe you’ll pick up where he left off. I don’t know. But I think that’s an appropriate sentence in this case.”

By all accounts, Castiglione was close to Garcia, the pastor at The New England Pentecostal Ministries. They would often get together to pray. Garcia was a leader for both their families, Ruoff noted on Friday.

But Castiglione ended up shooting the beloved man of the cloth at the defendant’s home in the city of Londonderry sometime after 2 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2019.

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More bloodshed followed Garcia’s death just over a week later on Oct. 12, 2019.

His stepson, Dale Holloway, allegedly stormed a wedding at New England Pentecostal Ministries and pistol-whipped the groom – Brandon Castiglione’s father, Mark Castiglione, then 60. Holloway shot the bride, Claire McMullen, then 60, in the arm, and Bishop Stanley Choate in the chest. The victims survived.

The case against Holloway continues. He is representing himself. In a filing, Holloway reportedly said he experienced trauma and difficulties for most of his life, including mental illness.

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