Taitano testifies in Keith Castro murder case

Thomas Taitano (PNC file photo)

Thomas Taitano picked up where he left off yesterday, testifying towards the events that transpired the night Kieth Castro was shot.

Taitano told jurors that he received a call from Matt Sablan on July 28th. Sablan told Taitano that Castro was at his Yigo home. And while he acknowledged that he was upset over a social media post made by Castro, he said he didn’t know why Sablan called him.

Following the call, Taitano said he went to Sablan’s residence and confronted Castro and the two men began fighting.

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Taitano stated that their fight was broken up. That’s when he said he saw a vehicle’s lights as it pulled up and Joshua Palacios got out immediately going after Castro. Taitano recalled that as Palacios was punching Castro he backed up and fell to the ground.

Taitano said Palacios continued punching Castro when the gun went off sending everyone running. Taitano says that’s when he left with his girlfriend Leonids Vasquez. He says he freaked out and the two retreated to an unknown property in Yigo.

Defense attorney Thomas Fisher asked Taitano if he was sure Palacios had a gun, pointing out that Taitano was high on meth that day.

Five days after the shooting, Taitano surrendered to police indicating that he knew he was wanted in the shooting. ” I didn’t do it that’s why I turned myself in,” he said.

After self-surrendering, Taitano cooperated with authorities. helping them locate Palacios at a house in Barrigada.

Fisher made it a point to stress that Taitano could not recall many details of the incident. Fisher asked Taitano if he had trouble with his memory. Taitano responded “no.” Fisher then stated, “But you can’t recall the night of the 28th.” Taitano again responded:  “Yes, it’s been over a year, sir. It’s been awhile.”

Fisher also pointed out that Taitano only surrendered after speaking with attorney Stephen Hattori. Fisher asked why he didn’t turn himself in sooner if he didn’t do it.

Taitano claimed he didn’t call the police because he was scared, having witnessed the shooting and because he was already on parole and didn’t want to go back to jail.


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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.