Accidental Gunplay Death Leads To Guilty Plea From RivCo Defendant


Brady Matthew Castillo, who turns 23 Thursday, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

RIVERSIDE, CA — A man who accidentally killed a 21-year-old woman during gunplay at a Woodcrest property admitted voluntary manslaughter in a plea directly to a Riverside County Superior Court judge, without the involvement of prosecutors, the District Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

Brady Matthew Castillo, who turns 23 Thursday, of Riverside pleaded guilty to the felony count, along with a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation, during a status hearing Monday before Judge Gary Polk at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Polk accepted the plea from Castillo without input or objection from the prosecution.

The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for Nov. 22, without indicating the length of imprisonment under consideration. The defendant is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by sheriff’s Investigator David Sandoval, Castillo was with Isabella Ruiz at an unnamed friend’s residence in the 18000 block of Gentian Avenue, near Chicago Avenue, on the night of March 31, 2023, when the shooting occurred.

Sandoval said earlier that day, the defendant had been “hanging out with his friend” when he grabbed a semiautomatic handgun stashed in a drawer at the house and “took selfies,” posing with the pistol before handing the gun to his friend and leaving.

“Later that evening (about 11:45 p.m.), Castillo returned to the same place and was hanging out with Ruiz and the previously noted friend,” according to the sheriff’s declaration. “Castillo noticed the same firearm from earlier on top of a table in the bedroom. He picked up the firearm with his left hand, racked the slide to the rear, pointed the firearm at Ruiz’s face, and three to five seconds later, pulled the trigger, striking her in the face.”

Sandoval wrote that Ruiz was sitting in a chair situated at a desktop computer, “looking at Castillo when he pulled the trigger, and neither party said anything to each other.”

“Castillo was unaware if the firearm was loaded and assumed it was not,” the investigator said.
Castillo’s friend called 911 immediately after the shooting, and the victim was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where she died about 90 minutes later.

The defendant later told detectives he had not had any “formal gun training” but realized “the dangerousness of firearms,” the affidavit stated.

He was arrested on the afternoon of April 1, 2023, but posted an $80,000 bond and was released from custody. His bail was revoked three months later when he failed to make a court appearance.

Castillo has no documented prior misdemeanor or felony convictions in Riverside County.


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