Eugene Decastro North Carolina Death Row
Eugene Decastro was sentenced to death for a double murder that took place in 1992. According to court documents Eugene Decastro and brothers George and Chris Goode would stab to death a couple in a trailer park in North Carolina. All three men would be arrested and Eugene Decastro and George Goode would be convicted and sentenced to death. Chris Goode was sentenced to multiple life terms. George Goode would later be taken off of death row and resentenced to life in prison without parole.
Eugene Decastro 2021 Information
|Probation/Parole/Post Release Status:||INACTIVE|
|Current Location:||CENTRAL PRISON|
Eugene Decastro More News
: At approximately 5:20 p.m. on 29 February 1992, Eugene Decastro, George Goode, his brother Chris Goode, and Glenn Troublefield went for a ride together in George Goode’s automobile. In Smithfield they saw a man walking along the road, and George stopped the vehicle. Eugene Decastro, George, and Chris got out of the vehicle and assaulted and robbed the man. The three men then returned to the vehicle, and George drove away at a high speed. At this point Troublefield requested that he be taken home, but George refused.
George began playing “chicken” with other vehicles and eventually lost control of his vehicle and ran into a ditch. After freeing the vehicle, Eugene Decastro, George, and Chris went to a store and bought a bottle of wine. Troublefield again asked to be taken home. George’s reckless driving continued until he lost control of the vehicle again, stranding it in a ditch near the Dallas Mobile Home Park. After unsuccessfully attempting to remove the vehicle from the ditch, defendant, George, and Chris began walking toward the Dallas Mobile Home Park, where George and his wife rented a mobile home. Troublefield left the area.
About 6:35 p.m. a friend of George Goode’s wife saw George and several other men at the Goodes’ mobile home.
Earlier that day the owner of the Dallas Mobile Home Park, Leon Batten, had informed one of the Goodes’ neighbors that the Goodes’ mobile home was vacant and that he was seeking new tenants. Apparently, the Goodes had been delinquent in paying their rent. Between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. this neighbor saw a strange man in the mobile home and went to inform Leon. Leon drove his truck to the Goodes’ mobile home. A few minutes later witnesses saw several black men standing over Leon in the Goodes’ yard, beating him. Some witnesses recalled seeing four men beating Leon, while others recalled seeing only three. A park resident drove to the Batten residence and informed Leon’s wife, Margaret, of the skirmish at the park, and Mrs. Batten drove to the Goodes’ mobile home. Other witnesses drove to the nearby home of a sheriff’s deputy and informed him of the trouble.
At approximately 7:30 p.m. a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the Goodes’ mobile home and saw three black males standing in the yard. At trial the deputy positively identified two of the men as defendant and George Goode. The men fled, and the deputy was unable to catch them. The deputy then discovered the bodies of Leon and Margaret Batten in the cargo bed of Leon’s truck. Multiple stab wounds were apparent on both victims, and neither victim had any vital signs.
Another deputy sheriff approaching the crime scene spotted George Goode two-tenths of a mile from the mobile home park, walking quickly away from the area. When taken into custody George was in possession of Leon’s wallet. Within an hour after George was taken into custody, his brother Chris Goode approached the crime scene asking for George. After noticing bloodstains on Chris’ clothes, officers placed him in custody and discovered Leon Batten’s partial dental plate in his pocket. Glenn Troublefield was picked up by a sheriff’s deputy as he walked down the road.
Investigators continued their search for a fourth suspect. At approximately 6:00 a.m. the next morning, investigators, with the aid of a State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) airplane equipped with an infrared tracking device, spotted Eugene Decastro walking along a dirt road in the area. Officials found defendant lying at the base of a tree, and he was then arrested.
Investigators later found three sets of human tracks leading from an area near the Goodes’ mobile home, which they were able to follow despite several gaps of up to two hundred yards. The tracks diverged, and *658 one set of tracks ended approximately fifty yards from where defendant was arrested.
A wine bottle was found in the passenger compartment of Leon’s truck. Defendant’s fingerprints matched one of two fingerprint lifts taken from the wine bottle. The inside portion of the truck tailgate was smeared with a blood-like substance and had a handprint impressed in it. The handprint matched defendant’s. In addition, blood taken from the camouflage jacket defendant was wearing when he was arrested was consistent with Leon’s blood.
An SBI agent and a sheriff’s detective testified regarding a statement made by Eugene Decastro while they were collecting defendant’s clothing at the jail. The officers took defendant’s clothing and told defendant to remove everything from his pockets and to place the items on a nearby bench. Defendant removed $13.00 from his pockets. After defendant had completely disrobed and the officers had collected all of his clothing, the detective asked the agent “if it was okay for [defendant] to keep the money.” The agent then turned back toward defendant and saw some money in defendant’s top pocket. Before the agent could say anything, defendant said, “I had some of my own money, too, now.”
The medical examiner who conducted the autopsies on both victims described the eight knife wounds to Margaret Batten’s head and neck and the fifteen stab wounds to her chest and abdomen as well as the numerous defensive wounds on the back of her hands. In addition to the external cuts, the autopsy revealed a variety of internal injuries, including six to seven broken ribs and cuts through the heart, lungs, esophagus, stomach, large intestine, spleen, kidney, and liver. Margaret died from the multiple stab wounds to her chest and abdomen. The medical examiner testified that Margaret did not die a quick and painless death because the wounds she suffered were not severe enough to be instantly fatal and that Margaret probably remained conscious during the five to ten minutes it took for her to die.
Regarding the autopsy of Leon Batten, the medical examiner testified that she observed several stab and puncture wounds on his body. The evidence also showed blunt trauma to the head and face, which could have resulted from traumatic blows with a human fist or kicking-type blows with a foot. Leon’s head and face were covered with abrasions, contusions, lacerations, bruises, and scrapes. In addition, Leon sustained several internal injuries, including broken ribs and puncture wounds of the chest. Leon also suffered damage to his hyoid bone, a horseshoe-shaped bone in the very uppermost part of the neck below the chin, which could have been caused by a severe blow to the neck with a human fist, a hard kick in the neck, or manual strangulation. Leon died as a result of a stab wound to the heart.
Eugene Decastro did not testify or offer any evidence during the guilt phase of the trial.
During the sentencing proceeding at defendant’s trial, the State offered testimony from the medical examiner regarding the painful nature of the victims’ deaths. The State also introduced evidence that in 1982, when defendant was seventeen years old, he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and common law robbery. Defendant received a six-year sentence for these offenses.
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