Taitano pleads guilty

Thomas Taitano (PNC file photo)

The man who beat Keith Castro with a baton before he was shot to death has taken a deal with the government and could be released from prison by the end of the year.

Thomas Taitano in court Monday admitted to striking Keith Castro with a baton bringing resolution to the case through a cooperative plea agreement.

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As part of the deal, Taitano pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and criminal mischief to a motor vehicle both as third-degree felonies. The maximum sentence for each charge is five years incarceration but under Taitano’s deal, if he cooperates, he will see a reduced sentence.

Taitano will have to testify against Joshua Palacios, the man accused of shooting Castro in Yigo following Taitano’s assault on July 28, 2019.

Upon completion of this condition, the court has indicated that it will abide by the sentencing stipulation in the agreement.

The sentence called for in the plea deal suspends all but 18 months of the five-year concurrent sentence with credit for time served.

According to Judge Vernon Perez, based on his calculations, this means that Taitano may be released by the end of the year.