Georgia's highest court has rejected a request from a convicted Hall County murderer for a new trial. The Supreme Court of Georgia (SCOGA) released the decision on Monday, April 15, 2019.
Saul Castillo-Velasquez is serving a life prison sentence with no possibility of parole for the murder of Silverio Acosta on Father's Day 2013.
Acosta was shot to death at Tadmore Park during a soccer game. The park was crowded at the time, and Castillo-Velasquez was tackled by two Hall County marshals who were working security for the game.
According to information in court documents, Castillo-Velasquez testfied he killed Acosta to avenge his own father's death in El Salvador.
"He testified that, when he was between seven and nine years old in El Salvador, Acosta and Acosta’s father killed Castillo-Velasquez’s father with machetes as Castillo-Velasquez watched," the court documents said.
Both men ended up living in Gainesville years later.
In his appeal, Castillo-Velasquez said the trial court erred by allowing the victim's bloody clothing to be entered as evidence in the case. Also, he said his attorney did not provide enough evidence about his mental health during the trial.
The high court disagreed and the conviction and sentence will stand.
To read the full content of the ruling by the Supreme Court of Georgia (SCOGA), follow this link.