Castleberry gets 11-year sentence

Castleberry gets 11-year sentenceBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

After pleading no contest last month to a felony charge of voluntary manslaughter, Richard Castleberry, 32-year-old Ridgecrest resident, was sentenced Sept. 14 to 11 years in prison.

Castleberry was arrested last year after punching Luis Fernando Vargas Quintero outside of the former Triple T’s Tavern during the early morning hours of May 26, 2019.

Castleberry was reportedly asked to leave the premises after urinating outside the building when he became confrontational. Castleberry became aggressive and punched the 29-year-old Quintero, who was apparently uninvolved in the confrontation but was standing near an employee’s car.

The victim fell, hitting his head on a car on the way down. He was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead within an hour of the incident.

“Castleberry and Quintero were not acquaintances, were not visiting the bar together, and there was no evidence suggesting the two had a prior altercation leading up to the unprovoked assault by Castleberry,” said a release from the Kern County District Attorney’s office.

As part of Castleberry’s plea agreement, the court dropped charges of first-degree murder and assault.

Story First Published: 2020-09-18