HOUSTON — The man charged with murder in the road rage shooting of a Houston teenager killed after an Astros game has agreed to a plea deal.
Gerald Williams, 34, was set to stand trial for the 2021 shooting death of 17-year-old David Castro. Instead, he pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Paul Castro, the victim’s father, said the family stood behind the plea deal.
“It’s been 18 months and two weeks. This is the first time I’ve felt a little bit of peace,” Castro said.
He said they’re thankful they won’t have to relive the horror of that night during a trial and that his other son won’t have to testify.
Castro thanked the people who submitted over 100 tips to Crime Stoppers that helped lead to his son’s killer.
“It’s really unusual for a person who is a road rage shooter to wind up in prison,” Castro said. “And that only happened because the city of Houston came together. They heard David’s story, the horror of it, and they wanted to do something to make this a little bit better.”
Castro addressed Williams in court during Tuesday morning's hearing.
“When I first heard that such a thing was possible, I’ve been fantasizing about different ways to do it,” Castro said. “They show on the news when people lose it and yell and scream, and I wanted to do that, I wanted to do a lot of things, but I realized that none of that was going to bring my son back."
The dad-turned-activist was a key voice in the fight to end the revolving door of the discount bond system in Harris County after Williams was released. He and other families later won their fight to change the loophole.
But Castro said even today's sentencing did not bring a sense of closure.
“And so what it felt like was just this deep, deep immeasurable sense of pain and sadness,” Castro said. “I needed him to know that he caused terror in my two sons and one of them didn’t make it. I hope he dreams that every night for the next however many years he does because every night I go to bed with that image in my head.”
Castro said he hopes other drivers will stop and think before acting the next time another driver “acts like a jerk,” and they remember David’s case or other senseless road rage deaths.
How police identified Williams
According to court documents, Paul Castro, David's father, had a verbal altercation with a man driving a white Buick as they were leaving a game at Minute Maid Park. He told police the Buick began following them through the downtown area.
Paul Castro told police he sped away to try to avoid the suspect, who fired several shots through the back window of their truck. David Castro was struck and later died from his injuries.
Court documents said officers got surveillance video at a nearby Valero and found two shell casings at the turnaround in front of the gas station.
Police said a car matching the description was put on sale through Offer Up so they tracked down the person who posted the ad. According to court documents, Williams bought a Buick Lacrosse on May 30, and that the vehicle couldn't be found after the deadly shooting.
Police said the burned car was found in a field near Williams’ house and cellphone records placed Williams in the area of the shooting at the time it occurred.