A Texas woman convicted of causing a 2017 wreck that killed a Walters woman and her infant son will serve five years in prison.
Cheyenne Castillo, 22, Arlington, Texas, was charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter. She was sentenced to serve five years on each charge. She also received a five-year deferred sentence for driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury. All counts are to be served concurrently. She was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and court costs.
The District Attorney’s office had asked for 25-year sentences with 20 years to serve per count. Tuesday’s sentencing didn’t sit well with prosecutors.
“This was not from us,” said First Assistant District Attorney Kyle Cabelka.
Castillo had entered the blind plea of guilty in early March. The plea is an admission she was under the influence of opiates and other drugs when she drove into oncoming traffic just south of Geronimo, according to the court affidavit.
Tuesday’s sentence followed the return of a pre-sentence investigation report on May 1. Originally scheduled to be sentenced May 5, Castillo’s judgment was moved due to the court slowdown during the COVID-19 closure.
The crash killed Savannah Benefiel, 31, of Walters, who was a passenger in the other car, as well as her infant son who was in the back seat. Benefiel’s husband, Rocky, was pinned behind the steering wheel and suffered serious injuries. Another child suffered an arm injury.
An arrest warrant was issued Aug. 8, 2018, and Castillo was taken into custody in January 2019. She had been held in the Comanche County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.
A restitution hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 25, records indicate.