Punishment to be Decided for Man Convicted in Donna Murder
WESLACO – The punishment phase for a man convicted of capital murder will start over.
Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled to take Douglas Armstrong off death row.
Armstrong was found guilty of killing 60-year-old Rafael Castelan of Donna during a robbery in 2006. Castelan was robbed of $150. A jury decided on the death penalty.
Then in 2017, the appeal upheld the guilty verdict but took Armstrong off death row. It stated the punishment phase needed a do-over.
On Wednesday, the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether they’ll seek the death penalty. If so, evidence will be presented to a new jury.
According to the judge, the trial for punishment will be more complex this time around. If the DA’s office doesn’t seek the death penalty, Armstrong faces life in prison without parole.
The DA’s office said they’ll have a decision made by Wednesday. However, the announcement won’t be made until early next month.
Armstrong was previously linked to a 2003 murder in Alabama.
According to records, in 2013 he was convicted of the murder of 40-year-old Debra Wilson in Dothan, Alabama. Wilson’s body was found in a motel room. She died of blunt force trauma to the head.
The case went cold for 10 years with no arrests ever made. Then in 2013, police said DNA linked Armstrong to the killing.
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