homepage logo

Castillo-Alvarez verdict to be given Friday, Jan. 25

By Staff | Jan 19, 2008

EMMETSBURG–The final chapter in the Gregory “Sky” Erickson murder will come to a close on Friday, Jan. 25, in Emmetsburg when Third Judicial District Court Judge Don E. Courtney reads his verdict in the Juan Humberto Castillo-Alvarez trial.

Courtney’s verdict will be read at 1:30 p.m. in open court at the Palo Alto County Court House.

Castillo-Alvarez, 40, is accused of being the mastermind behind the June 1997 kidnapping and murder of the 15-year-old Estherville resident. Erickson’s body was found partially burned, beaten and shot at a rural Jackson County, Minn., farm house.

Castillo-Alvarez is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping, both Class B felonies, and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, a Class C felony.

His trial began Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Clay County District Court in Spencer with Courtney presiding. It lasted just four days . Attorneys in the case–state public defender Mike Williams and assistant state attorney general Charles Thoman–were to submit their closing arguments in writing for Courtney to read and take into account with the evidence presented.

Several witnesses were presented by the state, including players in the Erickson murder. Prosecution and defense each rested on Friday, Sept. 21, without the defense calling any witnesses.

Castillo-Alvarez fled the United States in 1997 for Mexico. Thanks to efforts by the Clay County Attorney's Office, Clay County Sheriff's Department, FBI and several other entities, extradition was made possible and he was back in Clay County on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006.

He already had spent more than a year in jail in Mexico by the time he returned to the United States.

Contact Nathan Christophel at (712) 362-2622 or editor@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com