Young child’s smartphone video sends father to the slammer

YUBA COUNTY, California — A California man has been sentenced to four years in prison after a video recorded by his 9-year-old child captured him brutally beating his wife in front of their three children. Miguel Lazaro-Castillo, 38, pleaded no contest in October to felony domestic violence, false imprisonment, and misdemeanor child abuse. He received the maximum sentence allowed under the law.

The incident unfolded on the morning of October 9 when the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from one of Lazaro-Castillo’s children. Deputies quickly arrived at the family’s home to find Lazaro-Castillo sitting on top of his wife, who was lying face-down on a floor stained with blood-soaked napkins. The couple’s three children, aged 9, 14, and 15, were present during the assault.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Lazaro-Castillo’s youngest child had recorded the assault on video, which lasted for over 6 minutes. The footage showed the husband repeatedly punching his wife in the face and head. One of their daughters tried to shield her mother with her hands, but Lazaro-Castillo slapped the girl on the leg and continued the assault. He then flipped his wife over and pressed her face into the carpet for an extended period.

Initially, Lazaro-Castillo denied any abuse and claimed ignorance about the source of the blood. However, it was later revealed that both he and his wife, along with one of their underage children, were intoxicated at the time. As a result, the three children were taken into protective custody, and Lazaro-Castillo was arrested.

Despite having no prior criminal record, Lazaro-Castillo received the maximum sentence for felony domestic violence due to the severity of his actions and disregard for his children. The Yuba County District Attorney’s Office emphasized his brutal assault and utter lack of concern for the well-being of his family by issuing a statement that said, “Despite Lazaro-Castillo not having a prior criminal record, he received the maximum sentence for felony domestic violence based on the brutality of his actions and his utter disregard for his children.”