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Jury selection underway in trial of man accused of killing grandparents in Palm Desert home


Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a 37-year-old man accused of gunning down his octogenarian grandparents inside a gated community in Palm Desert.

Frank Scott Castro III is charged with two counts of murder, along with a special circumstance allegation of perpetrating multiple killings and sentence-enhancing allegations of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury, according to court records.

He was arrested in September 2019 on suspicion of killing Frank Castro Sr., 83, and Carolina Castro, 81, whose bodies were found in their home in the 43000 block of West Calle Las Brisas.

Deputies responded at about 2 p.m. Sept. 11, 2019, to the West Calle Las Brisas address on reports of gunfire, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Deputies found the two victims shot to death inside the residence, and the defendant standing at the front of the property.

According to a trial brief filed by the prosecution, the defendant allegedly called and said he shot both of his grandparents and that they were both dead.

He waited on the patio for law enforcement and surrendered without incident, according to the trial brief. As Central Homicide Unit investigators attempted to interview Castro III, he told them that he had used methamphetamine and had been up for 72 hours.   

Deputies conducted a safety sweep of the residence and found his grandmother, who sustained three gunshot wounds to the head, in the kitchen and his grandfather, who sustained a gunshot wound each to his head, shoulder, and left arm/body, lying inside of a bedroom, according to prosecutors. A black semiautomatic handgun was found on the kitchen counter, according to the trial.  

Castro III remains in custody without bail at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio.

He has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County, court records show.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime

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