Investigators have been searching for a gun since Thursday afternoon.
There was a history of domestic violence in the relationship that frustrated prosecutors.
In December 2010, both Castano and Paulino were charged after a fight over late-night text messages Castano was receiving at the time; a suspicious Paulino tried to follow him, triggering a physical confrontation.
The case was dismissed, however, after both invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify.
Then, in 2012, Castano was arrested for threatening Paulino with a machete and a butcher knife, according to court documents. Prosecutors sought to have Castano — who also had a history of domestic violence reports with his ex-wife — held without bail, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
But without the cooperation or testimony of Paulino, Lynn District Court Judge Albert Conlon concluded that while Castano may have posed a danger, he could be released on $500 cash bail with an order that he not abuse Paulino. Monahan said the district attorney’s office requested $5,000 bail after realizing that the judge intended to set bail.
HAWC’s DiPietro said it’s very common for victims to choose not to pursue court cases and return to the abuser.
“It’s unfortunate because there’s still so much shame and stigma around abuse,” said DiPietro. “We can’t blame the victim because they may be coerced or threatened, either by the abuser himself or by societal pressures.”
The case shows how domestic abuse cuts across all levels of income and education, DiPietro said. Paulino had a strong and supportive family and a good education, yet still fell victim.
“No one is immune from finding themselves in this situation,” said DiPietro. “Abusers will use whatever power they have.”
Phelan, Castano’s attorney, said his client was crying and emotional during a brief meeting with the attorney just before his arraignment.
“He broke down in tears,” said Phelan. “He’s very sorry about what happened to Paulino.”
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.