Cindy Nguyen's Murderer Paul Castillo Pleads Guilty

The man accused of a deadly crime spree in San Jose last year admits he did it

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012  |  Updated 12:42 PM PDT
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Paul Ray Castillo faces charges that could bring him the death penalty.

NBC Bay Area

Paul Ray Castillo faces charges that could bring him the death penalty.

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A San Jose man has pleaded guilty to a ten-day crime spree last year, which included robbery, shooting, carjacking, car theft, and murder. 

As part of the plea on Tuesday, Paul Ray Castillo is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

Among Castillo's victims was a popular radio talk show host , Cindy Nguyen, who was killed after she was randomly carjacked at the Plant shopping center in San Jose.

"As tragic and senseless as Cindy Nguyen's death was, we are lucky that Paul Castillo did not kill anyone else," Deputy District Attorney James Leonard said in a statement. “While it does not make his victims whole, the plea in this case guarantees that Paul Castillo will never return to the community to harm anyone again.”

Castillo's crime spree reads like a television action thriller. It began on the morning of Sept. 6, 2011.

On that Friday morning Castillo took off with a San Jose man’s Nissan during a test drive.

Three days later, Castillo pointed a gun at a woman during a road rage incident.

Three days after that, Castillo was caught breaking into a car by the car's owner. When the man tried to stop him, Castillo tried to run him over.

Two days later, Castillo walked up to a man at a San Jose shopping center and robbed him at gunpoint.

Two days after that, Castillo shot a man he tried to rob at a San Jose gas station.

That victim survived.

An hour later, Castillo carjacked Nguyen who he later killed.

San Jose police officer caught up with him later that night, but he got away after crashing his car and running away. Police shot him in the chest during that altercation.

He was finally caught after a tip lead officers to a Little Ceasar's pizza shop in Sacramento. Castillo had treated himself from the gunshot wound. Police found the San Jose police bullet in Castillo's pocket when he was arrested without incident.

"For a little bit more than a week, Paul Castillo terrorized and devastated our community. Now he will spend the rest of his life in prison. He will die behind bars,"  Rosen said in a statement.

Castillo's official sentencing is scheduled for August 30.

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