Former Arkansas Judge Sentenced to 40 Years on Suspicion of Murdering Witness
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Summary: A former Pocahontas district judge who was earlier debarred and sentenced to 27 months for mailing a live snake to a man he considered as enemy was sentenced on Friday to 40 years in a drug case on suspicion of murdering a witness.
Bob Sam Castleman is already serving prison after being convicted for manufacture and distribution of meth, but his sentence was given for forty years after federal prosecutors accused him of murdering his co-defendant in the meth case. The murdered man had turned witness and was ready to testify against Castleman.
Castleman lost his law license in 2004 after he was convicted for mailing a live poisonous snake to a man he perceived as an enemy. At that time, Castleman did 27 months in federal prison.
He was convicted last year for conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. However, during the sentencing, this Friday, federal prosecutors alleged that Castleman had killed his co-defendant Travis Perkins, who had agreed to testify against Castleman.
Castleman’s son was also an accused in the matter, but he entered into a plea agreement and promised to cooperate with the government. He testified against his father that once his father had admitted he had murdered Perkins.
Perkins had been found shot to death in an apartment just days before he was to testify against Castleman. However, Castleman has neither been criminally charged nor convicted for the murder.
While federal prosecutors wanted a life sentence, Castleman’s defense said considering the accusation of murder in setting the sentence for the drug case was improper. No trial has been conducted or criminal charges filed for the murder case, and there has been no conviction, so, to consider those accusations in the case for conspiring to manufacture and distribute drugs is questionable.
The defense said the son’s testimony was altogether “self-serving” as he likely faced a similar prison term in the matter.
However, the court sentenced Castleman to 40 years in federal prison.
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