On tape recordings, former Philadelphia police Inspector Daniel Castro sounded calm and matter-of-fact as he discussed plans to hire an enforcer who would not hesitate to use violence to collect a $90,000 debt. When he took the witness stand, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer, jurors saw a man whose voice shook and broke as he expressed shame and regret. The FBI entrapped him into committing crimes when he was most vulnerable, he maintained, and his eyes more than once filled with tears as he spoke of the devastation that his arrest caused to his family.
In the end, most jurors sided with the Castro who testified for hours in front of them, defending himself even as he admitted to many of the charges. They deadlocked, 10-2, for acquittal on eight of the 10 counts Castro was charged with. Afterward, some jurors said they believed Castro, 47, had been set up. Castro’s attorney, Brian McMonagle, said Castro’s emotional and passionate testimony was a crucial element. Castro was found guilty of lying to FBI agents when they questioned him about the extortion scheme. He could be retried on other counts. Two jurors said they were sickened by what Castro had been “put through,” McMonagle said, and said they wished that they had been able to acquit on the remainder of the charges.