‘She’s ready to take responsibility’: Family, friends speak on behalf of woman convicted of intoxication manslaughter

SAN ANTONIO – Family and friends of a woman convicted of driving drunk and killing a San Antonio bicyclist spoke about how she has changed since the incident.

Samantha Castillo on Wednesday pleaded guilty to the charge of intoxication manslaughter as her trial was set to begin.

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The trial then entered the punishment phase when the state showed video from the night of April 7, 2021.

Beatrice Gonzalez was with a group of bicyclists when she stopped on the sidewalk in front of Central Catholic High School in the 1400 block of North St. Mary’s Street.

Gonzalez was on the phone with her daughter when the car Castillo was driving jumped the curb and hit her. Gonzalez died that night from her injuries.

Since then, according to testimony on Thursday, Castillo has joined Alcoholics Anonymous and started a nonprofit organization called “Think Twice San Antonio.”

The nonprofit passes out breathalyzers at events in San Antonio with the goal of reducing DWI rates.

Castillo’s AA sponsor, friend and former boss testified on her behalf.

Her father, Carlos Castillo, told the jury that before the accident, he had noticed his daughter drinking more.

“I thought there was a problem, but it’s hard to imagine because there was no real signs,” he said. “The biggest regret that I have is that I didn’t say anything.”

He also said that his daughter understands she has consequences coming for her actions.

“She’s ready to take responsibility, and it’s a debt she’s not going to be able to pay with money or anything that happens in this courtroom, but it’s a debt she’s going to have to pay through serving others,” he said.

The jury will deliberate on Friday and determine Castillo’s fate. The punishment ranges from probation to 20 years in prison.

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