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Woman receives sentence after a no-contest plea to negligent homicide

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Lake County District Judge James Manley deferred the imposition of sentencing for three years for a Ronan woman convicted of negligent homicide on March 10.

Lindsay Elizabeth Castrillo, 36, entered a no-contest plea to the charge as part of a plea agreement that was reached on Jan. 20. She was initially charged with the more serious offense of vehicular homicide while under the influence.

According to court records, on Sept. 1, 2019, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wayne Bieber responded to a one-vehicle rollover with a fatality on Moiese Valley Road. Bieber’s investigation of the site showed Castrillo was driving northbound when she lost control of the Subaru she was driving. The Subaru rolled multiple times and ejected her front-seat passenger and rolled over him, “killing him almost instantly.”

When questioned about the rollover, Castrillo admitted to being the driver. A third passenger who survived the accident also confirmed Castrillo was driving. Alcohol was allegedly detected in a blood sample taken from Castrillo, but undisclosed issues created doubt as to whether the sample would have been admitted as evidence. A motion by defense Attorney Britt Cotter to suppress certain aspects of the sample was pending at the time of the plea agreement. 

Castrillo tearfully testified at her sentencing hearing that she had consumed four beers over the course of about four hours prior to the accident.

Judge Manley acknowledged the lack of any criminal record in Castrillo’s history, including the lack of any traffic infractions.

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