HOUSTON - Friday, the man accused of killing a 17-year old in a road rage shooting was released on bond, and the boy’s father says he is furious over a bail system that puts local families in danger.
Looking less vibrant than before, the magnolia tree planted in memory of David Castro needs attention, and according to David’s dad, it’s much like his son's case.
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"Our kid is buried and dead, and all we are hearing is platitudes," he said. "‘God be with you, prayers, and he’s in a better place.’ I don’t need that. I need solutions."
Paul Castro met with FOX 26 at Westside High School less than 24 hours after getting an automated phone call around 6:30 p.m. Friday telling him Gerald Wayne Williams was released on bond.
Williams is accused of shooting and killing Castro’s 17-year-old son in a fit of road rage as he and his two sons left an Astros game in July.
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"On his own honor, he’s out there in our community- with children, with mothers, with fathers, with grandparents- you have a person who took so little regard for life that he shot into a pickup truck that had two children in it," says Castro. "And he shot one of them in the back of the head."
Williams previously served time for aggravated robbery and had been out less than a year before the shooting. He turned himself in nearly a month later and was granted a $350,000 bond in August.
Under his bail conditions, he has been given a curfew and is barred from any contact with the Castros, but it means little to the father who says no one's family is safe.
"I have no security around my safety, my child’s safety, his mom’s safety," says Castro. "He wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He had a gun. He was a felon."
Castro blames a cash bail system he says has made it cheaper to get released regardless of past convictions and accused crimes.
"We don’t know exactly how much was paid to get him out, but it was probably something in the $15,000 range," he adds. "Someone put $15,000 on their credit card; they were able to get a man out of jail probably for the next two to three years."
Castro wants funding of special courts to review bail decisions and says he's willing to run for office to make a difference.
"I wasn’t able to protect my son, but I’m calling on the community," he said. "Protect your sons and daughters, and let’s do something about this."
As he works to keep Westside’s magnolia tree, an example of his son's memory alive, he is urging other families to care enough to join him in making lasting change.
"Call the county commissioner," Castro continued. "Call Judge Hidalgo. Call the people who can make decisions and get things changed and say, ‘This is not ok, what are you doing about it?"