By KATIE McLAUGHLIN
BRENTWOOD, N.H. (Court TV) — A New Hampshire man who fatally shot his pastor has been sentenced to 42 years to life.
In a trial covered by Court TV last May, Brandon Castiglione was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Luis Garcia. Castiglione was a parishioner at Garcia’s church. Garcia, 60, was working on a painting job at Castiglione’s Londonderry home at the time of his death.
The judge said he felt that number was appropriate because Castiglione, now 28, will be eligible for parole when he’s 64, which is the age the victim would be today, had he lived.
Castiglione, who regularly attended Thursday night prayer gatherings with Garcia, did not testify at trial.
According to prosecutors, parishioners described Castiglione as hyper-religious and said he and Garcia had heated debates over interpretations of the Bible. Despite their differences, the exact circumstances of the Oct. 1, 2019 shooting are still unclear.
At trial, Castiglione’s defense attorney tried to argue that no direct evidence linked his client to the murder, and that there were no witnesses to the shooting. First responders, however, did report finding Castiglione crying near Garcia’s body.
In the end, physical evidence was hard for the jury to deny. A gun was recovered at the scene with Castiglione’s fingerprint, and the single round it was missing matched the type of bullet that killed Garcia.
The tragedy led to a shooting at New England Pentecostal Ministries in Pelham 12 days after Garcia’s death that involved both the Garcia and Castiglione families. In that case, Garcia’s stepson, Dale Holloway, allegedly opened fire during a wedding, wounding the bishop, bride and groom. All three have since recovered.
The groom was Castiglione’s father, Mark Castiglione. The wedding had been scheduled to take place two hours before Garcia’s funeral. Holloway, 38, who pleaded not guilty, is awaiting trial.