14-Year-Old Charged with Murder of 4-Year-Old Found in Clothes Dryer

Authorities are charging 14-year-old Raul Renato Castro as an adult in the murder of Alex Christopher Mercato. The 4-year-old disappeared on Friday afternoon while playing outside his home.

Police found Mercato’s body the next day. It was stuffed inside a clothes dryer in the house next door. Autopsy results indicate that he drowned.

Castro was the only one at his home on Friday. Prosecutors have charged him with special circumstances, including the sexual crime involving sodomy, kidnapping, murder during a child molestation, and murder of a witness to prevent testimony.

Castro’s mother, Elsa, says her son is a good boy who has never been in trouble. If convicted, Castro could end up serving 47-years-to life in prison. California law does not allow a youth offender to face life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

In court, today, an affidavit was released stating that the junior high school student has admitted to luring the 4-year-old into his home, sodomizing him, and drowning him in the bathtub after the victim threatened to tell his mother.

Castro’s arraignment, scheduled for yesterday, was rescheduled for Tuesday.

Getting arrested and charged with a crime is life changing for anyone. The best decision that you can make for your child is to contact an experienced Boston juvenile crimes lawyer right away.

Kids make mistakes. They can also be wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit. When a crime is committed, there may be reasons for the juvenile’s actions that must be brought to light in order to ensure a fair trail. There may be evidence that is inadmissible. There may be reasons why certain charges should be thrown out or reduced.

Affidavit: Teen says he killed boy found in dryer, AP/Google, November 4, 2009
Boy, 14, charged as adult in clothes-dryer murder of 4-year-old, CNN, November 3, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Assessing Juveniles Who Commit Murder, Psychiatric Times, May 1, 2005
Juveniles, The International Justice Project
Contact our Boston criminal defense law firm today and ask about your free consultation.

Contact Information