Crime

Renewed Charges in St. Thomas for Grave Assault Case

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In a significant development in a troubling assault case in St. Thomas, felony charges have been reinstated against an individual accused of a severe assault involving his partner and an illegal firearm.

Court documents reveal that on May 4, 2023, police responded to an incident in Estate Contant, St. Thomas. The victim, having just returned from dropping her son at school, reported that Raydin Ortiz Castellanos confronted her, accusing her of infidelity due to unanswered phone calls.

Castellanos’s verbal tirade reportedly escalated into physical violence. The victim described being pushed, slapped, and kicked by Castellanos, who then proceeded to tear her clothing, all while continuing his accusations. This incident followed Castellanos’s previous arrest in 2022 for a similar assault.

The situation intensified when Castellanos allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend, emphasizing his threat by brandishing a firearm. The victim recounted Castellanos preparing the gun and aiming it at her while repeating his lethal threats.

After managing to move to the porch, the victim faced further aggression, with Castellanos attempting to throw her over the railing. Eventually, she escaped to call 911.

Upon police investigation, Castellanos initially denied gun ownership, but the firearm, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, along with ammunition, was found in the bedroom.

Originally, Castellanos faced charges including assault, firearm possession, and disturbance of the peace. However, due to investigative complications, the case was dismissed in November without prejudice.

On December 9, with sufficient evidence gathered, Castellanos was re-arrested under the same charges. At his recent court appearance, Magistrate Paula Norkaitis affirmed the charges, setting bail at $50,000, with specific conditions including travel restrictions, curfew adherence, and mandatory distance from the victim.

Castellanos’s next court date is slated for January 12, as the legal process continues in this disturbing case of domestic violence.

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