Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder
By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man with ties to a Mexican gang pleaded guilty this morning to second-degree murder in the death of Guillermo Montes-Gonzales.
Jose Daniel Torres Castro, also known as Daniel Torres and Daniel Castro, was sentenced in Rowan Superior Court to just more than 10 years to 13 years in prison.
Castro, 25, has been in the Rowan County Detention Center since his July 2011 arrest. He was charged with first-degree murder.
In mid-June 2011, Montes-Gonzales, who was shot four times in the chest and upper body, was killed at the home Castro shared with his mother, Maria.
Montes-Gonzales’ body was found in a cul-de-sac at the end of Barley Run, located off Oak Mountain Road in western Rowan County, several miles away. Investigators believed the motive to be drugs. Montes-Gonzales had gone to Castro’s to drink, they say.
A few weeks after the shooting, Castro was arrested in Texas following a traffic stop. He was extradited back to Rowan County.
Montes-Gonzales’ wife, Magali Solano Garcia, said via an interpreter that the couple’s children still don’t understand.
“They will have to do without him for the rest of their lives,” she said.
Castro’s attorney, Doug Smith of Salisbury, told the court his client had remained employed. He also supports three children. His client alleges someone else, whom he only knows by a first name, shot Montes-Gonzales.
Smith said his client’s life was threatened, which is the reason he left the state.
District Attorney Brandy Cook told the court there was enough evidence to support Castro as being the one who shot the victim.
The investigation showed Castro was a part of La Familia Michoacana, a Mexican drug cartel, now disbanded.
His mother, Maria Castro, 39, remains in the Rowan County jail under a $125,000 bond, charged with being an accessory after the fact.
See more details in Thursday’s Post.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.