D.A. to dismiss three cases from Conviction Integrity Unit review of former Antioch Police Officer

“Records detailed (Officer Santiago) Castillo’s involvement in sharing confidential police information with an informant, improper handling of evidence and showing dishonesty during the internal affairs investigation.”

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office

Today, Thursday, December 19, 2019, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced three cases will be dismissed as a result of a review done by the Conviction Integrity Unit involving former Antioch Police Officer Santiago Castillo. In the interest of justice, two cases will be dismissed outright, and one case will have one count dismissed. Formal proceedings will be conducted on the record with the Contra Costa County Superior Court.

Officer Castillo’s subsequent conduct raises questions about the integrity of the underlying convictions in the three cases that will be dismissed. Records were released earlier this year by the Antioch Police Department concerning Castillo’s tenure with the agency, which prompted the Conviction Integrity Unit review. The records detailed Castillo’s involvement in sharing confidential police information with an informant, improper handling of evidence and showing dishonesty during the internal affairs investigation.

The dismissed cases and counts include the following:

  • Demetrius Sells, Docket 04-145620-1 (felony resisting an arrest by a peace officer)
  • Joseph O’Neal, Docket 04-187933-7 (misdemeanor reckless driving, driving on suspended license)
  • James McCullar, Docket 04-186384-4 (one count will be dismissed, misdemeanor reckless driving)

If a member of the public believes they have information regarding a prior conviction involving Castillo they may contact the unit and complete an application on our website: https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/7187/Conviction-Integrity-Unit

The Conviction Integrity Unit was created by District Attorney Diana Becton.

“I created the first ever standalone Conviction Integrity Unit for this Office as the public needs to have faith in our criminal justice system” stated Becton. “A prior conviction with any impropriety causes a great disservice to our system. We will continue to review prior cases and conduct investigations as appropriate.”

Our Office notified Police Chief Tammany Brooks of the results of the review and Public Defender Robin Lipetzky.

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