After three days of jury selection, the murder trial of Braulio M. Castillo moved to the evidence phase Friday morning.
Over the next two weeks, 18 jurors will hear testimony from more than 50 witness. Then 12 will be selected by lottery to decide whether the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that businessman killed his estranged wife in her home two years ago. If he is guilty, the jury will then recommend a sentence that can range from 20 years to life in prison.
The trial is scheduled to run through June 10.
The case began when Michelle Castillo’s body was found hanging in a basement bathroom in her Belmont Station home. Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office investigators say Castillo entered her home, killed Michelle during a struggle in her bedroom while their children slept in rooms down the hall and then staged a scene to make it appear she hanged herself in a basement bathroom.
Castillo, who pleaded not guilty, also is charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit murder, and with violation of a protective order.