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Father charged in kids' deaths could get life

The Baltimore Sun

City prosecutors announced yesterday that they will seek at a minimum a life sentence without the possibility of a parole for the Montgomery County man charged with drowning his three children in the bathtub of an Inner Harbor hotel during a custody battle with his estranged wife.

Mark Castillo, 41, has pleaded not criminally responsible to the three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Anthony, 6; Austin, 4; and Athena, 2. Not criminally responsible is the equivalent of an insanity plea in other states.

Castillo has confessed to the killings, according to court documents. He will undergo a psychiatric evaluation by court medical staff. If found guilty of the charges and not criminally responsible, Castillo would be committed to a psychiatric hospital, rather than prison.

Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy has not made a decision yet about whether to file for the death penalty. Her spokeswoman, Margaret T. Burns, said Jessamy is waiting for the results of the psychiatric evaluation.

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