Brandon Castiglione, 25, has been indicted for second-degree murder in connection with the 2019 killing of Luis Garcia in Londonderry, according to an announcement from New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald.
Castiglione –– accused of fatally shooting the 60-year-old in the neck –– is also charged with an alternative count of recklessly causing Garcia’s death.
He has remained in a house of corrections since his arrest a year ago.
Investigators said they found Garcia, who was a pastor at the New England Pentecostal Ministries Church in Pelham, fatally shot in the back of the head and Castiglione in a fetal position, crying near his body after receiving a 911 call.
During a recent hearing in the case, Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati pointed out physical evidence implicating Castiglione, including a gun found at the scene with his fingerprint on it.
It was missing a single round, which matched the type of bullet Garcia was shot with, Agati said.
Castiglione’s defense team, however, has questioned how quickly the 25-year-old was arrested, giving no time for authorities to investigate other possible suspects.
According to the defense, the state only had proof that Castiglione was at the home where Garcia’s body was found, but not that he committed a crime.
Castiglione’s competency has been questioned and proven during court hearings.
A report was submitted to the court by Richelle Barb, a forensic examiner for the state, on April 24, declaring his competency.
During two hearings in July, Barb told Judge Marguerite Wageling that based on her evaluations, Castiglione can stand trial, meaning he has sufficient ability to consult with his attorneys and understand the proceedings against him.
Court documents show Barb reviewed police reports and videos from Castiglione’s current arrest as well as at least eight other prior cases as part of her evaluation.
She said she listened to phone calls between Castiglione and others, and read his medical and mental health records dating back to 2013.
Barb also had two in-person meetings with Castiglione, each lasting about an hour, on Jan. 8 and March 6.
During those meetings, Castiglione refused to complete the normal evaluation process, court papers state. Still, Barb said she found him to be logical, clear, respectful and able to stay on topic.
“During the meetings she did not find any evidence of paranoia, or that (Castiglione) was hearing voices or otherwise distracted,” according to court documents.
Also, she stated, “he was able to discuss his previous cases and how he learned and understood the legal process.”
Barb said she asked Castiglione if he “heard voices,” to which he replied he did not.