Witness says he couldn’t identify the people involved on the night of Castro’s murder

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Matthew Sablan (media pool photo)

In the Keith Castro murder trial on Wednesday, witness Matthew Sablan was back on the stand, admitting that he told police he couldn’t identify the people involved on the night of the incident.

Castro was shot outside Sablan’s Yigo home back in 2019.

Joshua Palacios is on trial for the murder of Castro. He was accused of pulling the trigger on the gun that killed Castro. 

Thomas Taitano — aka ‘Mossy’ — was also named as another person involved in the incident. 

At Wednesday’s trial, defense counsel Tom Fisher asked whether Sablan told GPD on July 28, 2019, that he couldn’t identify either the two women or the two men involved in the shooting incident. 

Sablan confirmed that he did tell GPD that he couldn’t identify the people.

He also admitted that he withheld information from the police since he did not want to be called a “snitch.”

“Why is it that you withheld that information?” Fisher asked.

Sablan replied: “I didn’t want to snitch.”

Fisher then asked: “When you told the Guam Police Department that that was a lie? It is fair to say that you are willing to lie to protect somebody? “

“Yes,” Sablan replied.

On Tuesday, Sablan told jurors that Castro was his friend, he also told the court that he tried to break up the fight before the fatal shot was fired.

Sablan testified that Thomas Taitano chased Castro around the home, striking Castro at least a hundred times with a baton, each strike with seemingly greater force.

Sablan says he tried to stop the fighting by pushing Taitano off Castro. But he said Taitano chased after Castro continuing his assault.

When Castro ran into the garage, Sablan said Taitano followed, kicking and punching him. Sablan said that’s when Palacios joined in, egging on Taitano, before beginning to strike Castro.

Sablan said that as Palacios hit Castro, the gun went off. He told the jury that he saw the gun in Palacios hand but could not describe the weapon. During the assault, Sablan says Castro begged them to stop but that plea fell on deaf ears.

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