The briefing will explore the need to better protect victims of domestic violence in custody cases.
On a Saturday evening in late March 2008, a 41-year-old Maryland man named Mark Castillo drowned his three children in the bathtub of a Baltimore hotel room.
Castillo and his wife of 10 years, Amy, had been embroiled in a grueling custody dispute. Amy Castillo had repeatedly warned the courts that her mentally ill husband was unraveling, and had physically threatened her and their children. As a result, she tried to persuade the judge in the custody case to end Castillo’s unsupervised visits with the children.
But the judge was not persuaded. He chose instead to rely on the testimony of a court-appointed psychologist, who said Castillo posed no risk to his family. Castillo’s visits with his children remained unchanged. Less than a year later, the children were dead. Castillo turned himself in hours after he killed them, having failed in his attempt to also kill himself. Castillo pleaded guilty in 2009 and is currently serving three life terms without the possibility of parole. [Read Full Article]