YUBA COUNTY, Calif. – A man in California is headed to prison after he brutally beat his wife, thanks in part to some fantastic video evidence taken by his own 9-year-old daughter, according to officials.
Miguel Lazaro-Castillo, 38, viciously battered his wife in front of their children, ages 9, 14 and 15. The couple’s 9-year-old daughter had the presence of mind to record the crime.
After pleading no contest in October to felony domestic violence, false imprisonment, and misdemeanor child abuse, the man was sentenced on Friday to the maximum time in prison, which is four years, the New York Post reported.
On the morning of Oct. 9, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from one of Lazaro-Castillo’s children, according to a statement from the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office.
Deputies responded to the family’s residence and found Lazaro-Castillo sitting on top of his wife lying faced-down on the floor, as blood-soaked napkins littered the area.
During the investigation, deputies learned that all three children were present when Lazaro-Castillo beat their mother, and the youngest child videotaped six minutes of the criminal offense.
The recording reportedly showed the father repeatedly jabbing his wife in the face and head. Although one of the girls tried to protect her mother from the blows by shielding her, the defendant slapped his daughter on the leg and continued with the beating “for an extended amount of time,” the DA’s office said.
Initially, before he became aware of the video recording, Lazaro-Castillo denied abusing his wife and claimed “he had no idea where all the blood had come from.”
However, the video evidence made things pretty clear. Deputies arrested Lazaro-Castillo, and now he will head to prison.
According to the DA’s officer, the defendant, victim, and one of the minor children were intoxicated. Hence, all three children were placed in protective custody, The Post reported.
“Despite Lazaro-Castillo not having a prior criminal record, he received the maximum sentence for felony domestic violence based on the brutality of his actions and his utter disregard for his children,” the DA’s office said.