A former Cape Coral man is serving out a life sentence in connection to a 2008 murder.
On March 3, Lee Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle sentenced Andrew Jay Castor, 24, to life in prison for the death of Bianca Marela Meza Interiano, 19. A Lee County jury had found him guilty on Jan. 16 of first-degree murder in a trial, as well as grand theft of a motor vehicle and burglary with assault or battery.
Castor is incarcerated at the South Florida Reception Center in Doral, Fla., according to records.
"I'm disappointed that Mr. Castor was sentenced to life, but the judge had no choice but to sentence him to life," defense attorney Terence Lenamon, who represented Castor on the charges, said.
He described his client as someone who "clearly needs mental health treatment."
"Unfortunately, the jury believed that he was not insane at the time of the offense, so a mandatory life sentence is required," Lenamon said.
On Aug. 2, 2008, Castor stabbed Interiano to death in her home at 1122 County Club Blvd., Apt. A. Castor and Interiano were neighbors in the duplex as he lived at 1122 County Club Blvd., Apt. B.
The victim was reportedly stabbed 20-plus times in the attack.
According to officials, Castor attempted to cover up the homicide by stealing Interiano's vehicle, by making it appear as if a robbery had taken place at her home and by misleading investigators.
The jurors deliberated for about four hours before finding him guilty.
Assistant State Attorney Carrie Ann Pollock was the lead prosecutor on the case.
"We hope this trial can bring some closure to the victim's family," Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office, reported recently via an email. "This was such a sad case."
Lenamon pointed out that he was significantly impressed with how the victim's family dealt with the tragedy. For example, they asked for the death sentence to be dropped due to their religious beliefs.
"I was pretty impressed with the way the family handled the situation," he said.
According to Lenamon, his client did not react to the sentencing.
"He really did not have a reaction," he said. "I think that he's mentally ill."
During the trial, Castor's history of disassociation and significant depression came to light, Lenamon previously explained. At age 14, his client was accused of killing a cat by feeding it to an alligator.
Castor's father has asked that his son receive treatment while in prison.
Lenamon has filed a notice of appeal on behalf of his client.
"We'll see how it plays out from there," he said.