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Suspect in killing of transient man outside Yakima motel to be arraigned Monday

Rene Hernandez Castillo Jr.

Rene Hernandez Castillo Jr.

A man accused in a fatal shooting in front of a Yakima motel is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

In addition to second-degree murder charges, Rene Hernandez Castillo Jr., 37, of Mabton, also faces charges of drive-by shooting, first-degree unlawful firearms possession and possessing a stolen firearm.

Prosecutors say Castillo fatally shot Anthony Carlos Rodriguez, 37, outside the Motel 6, 1010 Staff Sgt. Pendleton Way, the afternoon of April 5. Security camera footage showed the suspect’s car go by Rodriguez three times before he was shot, according to court documents.

Rodriguez died from a single gunshot wound, according to the Yakima County Coroner’s Office. Police said he was a transient.

The car was found early the next morning parked at Neighborhood Connections, 102 S. Naches Ave., according to court documents. Detectives used evidence in the car to identify Castillo as the suspect and tracked him to the Red Apple Motel, 416 N. First St., where he was arrested April 10 after a foot chase by police, according to court documents.

As police pursued him, Castillo dropped a gun inside a UPS pickup box in an alley, court documents said. Detectives said the 9mm pistol was reported stolen in Sunnyside.

Castillo has 13 felony convictions, including eluding police, bail jumping, witness tampering, first-

degree theft, second-degree assault, unlawful firearms possession, drug possession and possessing a stolen motor vehicle. He was also convicted of rape in California. He is being held in the Yakima County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Rodriguez’s death was the third homicide in the city this year, and the ninth in the county.

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