ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota man has been arrested and charged with murder after he viciously stabbed his estranged wife 20 times throughout her upper body during a Bible study Tuesday evening, according to court documents.
The victim, identified as Corrina Woodhull, was soaked in blood from stab wounds that were inflicted by the suspect, identified as Robert Castillo, police said. She was cut and sliced throughout her upper torso and arms, while pleading with a witness, “Don’t let me die,” Fox News reported, citing an arrest affidavit.
The deadly knife attack occurred in front of several witnesses about 9 p.m. Tuesday at a residence in Saint Paul, where Castillo’s sister lives and hosts a weekly Bible study.
Members of the Bible study group, including some of Castillo’s family, physically overwhelmed him during the maniacal attack and wrestled the knife from him as first responders were called to the scene, court documents revealed.
Others, including a witness identified in court papers as “MC,” tended to Woodhull’s critical injuries. She was transported to a local hospital, but pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
“MC thought Castillo would have stabbed others in the house had he not been disarmed,” according to court documents.
As police escorted a handcuffed Castillo to jail, he asked officers, “Is she going to be OK?” according to the criminal complaint.
Castillo was booked into jail and was charged with second-degree murder, along with two other felonies, Fox reported.
Woodhull’s friend, Eriz Meszaros, said the victim was a mother of five, who overcame drug addiction.
“Corrina was an advocate for those in recovery, she had a passion to help others experiencing substance use disorder and domestic abuse and violence,” Meszaros wrote on a fundraising page.
“She loved her children so much. You would find Corrina most days helping at church, volunteering at non-profits, including Metro Hope Ministries, FreedomWorks Reentry and Aftercare, Against the Odds Ministries, Twin Cities Outreach Church, Serenity Village Community Church, and many other ministries.
“Corrina had a fire for the Lord that was unmatched. She was beautiful inside and out. I know she was welcomed home by the Lord with the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’”
According to court documents, Woodhull and Castillo were legally married for a “couple years” and lived together until about a month ago, when problems arose.
Witnesses said the lightning-fast knife attack seemingly came out of nowhere. The couple was seated on the couch for about 90 minutes and were “getting along.”
“There were no other signs of hostility,” and “everything seemed fine,” witnesses told police, according to the criminal complaint.
Then Castillo appeared to whisper something to Woodhull. She nodded, and he then pulled out the knife and repeatedly stabbed the woman, the complaint said.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy. According to the medical examiner’s report, Woodhull sustained a stab wound that penetrated her left breast and heart. She also had “additional sharp force injuries” to her face, chest and upper extremities, court documents revealed.
After Castillo was taken into custody, police discovered that he had an active warrant for his arrest from an unrelated case. The charge on the warrant was for assault on a correctional officer. The offense reportedly occurred while he was an inmate with the Department of Corrections at Stillwater, Fox reported.
According to criminal records, Castillo has eight prior felony convictions. In one particular case, he assaulted his child’s mother with a hammer, broke her arms and cracked her head. It was unclear if the victim in that case was Woodhull or another woman.
Castillo was also convicted of stabbing a former roommate in another case.