No bail for suspect in deadly New Bedford crash

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A man charged in connection with a crash that killed a father of two was ordered held without bail during his arraignment at New Bedford District Court Friday morning.

Justin Castro, 27, is charged with one count of manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle and one count of motor vehicle homicide with OUI negligent operation. 

He was ordered held without bail for up to 120 days.

David Dos Santos, 39, died in the crash that happened in November at the intersection of Route 6 and Brownell Street.  

Friends of Dos Santos remember him as an all-around good person who always made others happy.

“Christmas will not be the same. Definitely won’t be the same,” said one of Dos Santos’ co-workers, Nick Mayo.

Friends of Dos Santos also said that just a few weeks before he was killed, Dos Santos helped save a shooting victim that came into one of his jobs asking for help.

A state police affidavit obtained by Eyewitness News describes the moments leading up to the crash. Citing surveillance video, police placed Castro at a bar in New Bedford and then a gentleman’s club in Dartmouth, just three miles down Route 6 from where the crash occurred moments after he was seen on surveillance video there. According to police, at the New Bedford bar, Castro was seen having at least six beers and was on FaceTime with his girlfriend, with whom he lived in New Bedford for the past four years. 

In New Bedford District Court Friday morning, Castro’s attorney pleaded for him to be released and not ordered held as a danger to the public for the time between his arraignment and his pretrial hearing. Castro hid behind a screen as his attorney said he had a 9-year-old daughter who he needed to support, held two jobs at an auto parts store and with a food delivery service company. He said Castro was already ordered to relinquish his license with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, so he wouldn’t be a danger behind the wheel. He asked the judge that Castro instead be placed on home confinement at his mother’s house in Roxbury with a GPS tracking device. 

Assistant District Attorney Kyle McPherson asked the judge to consider Castro dangerous and to not allow bail, holding him without bail for up to 120 days saying, “the evidence that the defendant is dangerous is quite simply the fact that due to his reckless and indifferent behavior towards the safety of other people on the road with him, David Dos Santos is dead.”

According to the state police affidavit, Castro was found to be driving 63 mph in a 35 mph zone and hit Dos Santos’ car at 61 mph. Castro was driving down Route 6 toward New Bedford. Dos Santos was driving across the intersection from the end of Route 140 to Brownell Avenue. His car was crushed up against the traffic light pole. He was killed from blunt force trauma to the head. Castro allegedly told police on scene that he was the one who was hit and that he didn’t remember anything but a loud bang. Police reported him smelling of alcohol and uncooperative on scene but then cooperating when he was in the ambulance en route to Rhode Island Hospital. 

In court, Castro’s attorney said he has suffered from substance abuse. 

“He was sectioned through this court back in October of 2017 for alcohol abuse. He spent 30 days at the men’s addiction treatment center and was subsequently released.”

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