Defendant’s sister breaks down on the stand in Murdered Minister Trial

Posted at 9:07 AM, May 11, 2023 and last updated 9:07 AM, May 11, 2023


BRENTWOOD, N.H. (Court TV) Prosecutors presented evidence on Wednesday to suggest only Brandon Castiglione had the means and opportunity to kill Luis Garcia if not the motive.

Danielle Patalano testfies

Danielle Patalano, the sister of defendant Brandon Castiglione, testifies in her brother’s trial Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (Court TV)

The State called the defendant’s sister, Danielle Patalano, who testified that she went to her brother’s house on October 1, 2019, to check on him and Garcia. She arrived a few minutes ahead of her grandmother, and tried both the front and back doors but they were locked. She said she knocked, rang the doorbell, and threw acorns at a bedroom window but no one responded. She finally gained access to the house when she called her father, and he told her he kept a key under the doormat.

WATCH: Murdered Minister Trial: Defendant’s Sister Sobs on the Stand

Patalano said she went upstairs and found her brother in the fetal position, mumbling, and Garcia’s legs protruding from behind furniture, the scene frightened her and when she heard her brother make a noise, she fled the house and told her grandmother to call 911.

She was emotional at times telling jurors that she had texted her brother twice that day. She said a text containing a link to a Christian music artist at 9:58 am and another text at 12:51 pm went unanswered.

READ MORE: NH v. Brandon Castiglione Daily Trial Updates

“I had a horrible dream last night. I hope you’re doing okay. I’m going to be honest with you. I’m really concerned about you. I love you so much Brandon,” Patalano burst into tears after reading that text aloud to jurors. She offered no additional context for her messages, but they appeared to suggest something deeply troubling was going on with her brother.

Brandon Castiglione appears in court

Defendant Brandon Castiglione appears in court Tuesday, May 9, 2023 during his murder trial. (Court TV)

Garcia’s widow, Patricia Garcia, testified that her husband left that morning around 8:00 am, and she did not hear from him again that day until she learned that he had been murdered. Garcia said her husband was doing some painting at the Castiglione’s house in preparation for Mark Castiglione’s wedding.

The circle of suspects seemed to narrow even further when police officers, including a juvenile officer who said he was familiar with the Castiglione house, described recovering a handgun that belonged to Castiglione along with a spent bullet and casing. Police officers said they arrested the defendant shortly after they arrived. Castiglione appeared to be very emotional and crying, but only made sounds that appeared to sound like praying.

Defense attorneys claim their client is innocent and suggest that police failed to conduct a thorough examination for other suspects, going so far as to collect GSR evidence that would have been proof that Castiglione fired that gun, but that his clothes and swabs of his hands were never tested according to the defense.