Teenager snapped before stabbing

Dozens of tearful family members and friends attend brief court hearing Monday for the man who killed his 11-week-old cousin. Click here for related articles, video and photos.
Jessica Cuffman
May 21, 2013

Denzel Castile, 19, had little to say during his arraignment in Sandusky Municipal Court. He told Judge Erich O’Brien he had no questions about the charges, and O’Brien set his bond at $1 million. 

Castile is charged with aggravated murder in Thursday’s death of Athena Castile, who was stabbed at least once in the head and once in the body. 

He’s also charged with felonious assault and assault on a police officer. His attorney is Erie County public defender Jeff Whitacre.

Click here for related articles, video and photos.  

Police said Castile used a steak knife to stab Athena when he was at his grandparents’ Dewey Street home late Thursday night. Relatives told police he snapped, and he had not been himself for several months.

Family members had previously taken him to the hospital for an evaluation after noticing his altered mental state, authorities said, but doctors had said there was nothing wrong with him.

Sandusky police went to the home at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday after dispatchers received a 911 hangup call. Officers arrived to a chaotic scene, with family members apparently trying to subdue Castile, who somehow managed to wrest away Athena and stab her several times. 

A family member zapped Castile with a stun device, and officers then sprayed him with pepper spray and used a Taser to zap him multiple times before he was finally subdued. He was taken to the hospital to have Taser barbs removed, then taken to the Erie County jail, where he has been suicide watch since. He’s also been under a physician’s care at the jail, Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

Still reeling from the tragedy, Castile’s family members cried silently as O’Brien read the charges. Castile appeared via video from the jail.

David Castile, Denzel’s grandfather and Athena’s great-grandfather, said it was not his grandson appearing on the courtroom’s television monitor. Something changed in his grandson since he graduated from Sandusky High School in 2012 and went to the University of Toledo as a freshman.

“There’s all kinds of things out there that will cripple, that can happen,” David said.

Family and church members have joined to support the Castile family since Thursday’s incident, and Sandusky police have been of great comfort, too, David said.

“They operated out of the spirit,” He said. “I couldn’t believe how comforting they were.”

The community’s reaction has been that of kindness, as well as a sort of rallying cry to create a movement to support children and young adults who transition from home life to being on their own, David said.

Athena’s body was sent Friday to the Lucas County coroner’s office for an autopsy. Erie County coroner Brian Baxter said he hadn’t receive any results from the examination as of Monday, although he expects the results this week. 

Athena’s death marks the first murder in Erie County this year. Last year was especially troublesome, as five people were charged in a record seven homicides in Sandusky.  



Well said!!!!


"God gives you choices in life you are supposed to know right from wrong so this is in no way, shape, or form gods fault!"



Your "god" SPENT most of the old testament and even part of the new testament INTERFERING with people actions on Earth.

The "god" who just WATCHED as a steak knife plunged into an 11 week old baby is the SAME GOD who:

WIPED OUT ALL OF EARTH, killing HUNDREDS of thousands, perhaps MILLIONS, many no dooubt INNOCENT of any wrong-doing with the GREAT FLOOD except for a handful of hand-picked favorites of his

WIPED OUT Sodom and Gomorrah

Played one of the most sickening hateful games in the history of the Earth to win a bet against Satan with Job, one SICK GOD killing and maiming INNOCENTS for the fun of it

Then again, God letting the baby die is right up his sick twisted alley


"My prayers go out to this family" what good does that do

"for the person that said where was god in either this article or another one shame on you!! " Hmmm, JUDGE NOT?? or do you practice CAFETERIA CHRISTIANITY? pick and choose which parts of the BUY-BULL to follow?

"it never used to be like this " ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING? The BUY-BULL is full of all sorts of stories FAR worse than this one. As I recall CAIN killed ABEL, the first two children on Earth when the Earth was created just 6,000 years ago.

"except Jesus in your heart " Freudian slip or spelling error?

Once again the question is posed. WHAT GOOD IS IT BEING AN 11 WEEK OLD BABY ANGEL who can't grow old? That is more like HELL than HEAVEN.

Kind of lie in Interview with a Vampire where Brad Pitt and Tommy Cruise made Kirsten Dunst into a TWEEN VAMPIRE.

Seems to me it would be just like being a BABY or toddler angel. In fact the LAST thing adults would want in heaven is a toddler angel that hasn't grown out if its terrible twos and while every body is trying to meditate to heavenly harp music, toddler angels are throwing temper tantrums because God won't let them visit the bottomless frosted sprinkled donut case at the Krogers in heaven before bed time so they get all mad and start flying around knocking down pearly gates, spilling holy water at the peraly-gated catholic community churches


I have known Denzel and the mother of beautiful baby Athena since they were born as my daughter is the mothers sister and Denzels first cousin. This is a horrible tragedy and loss for both families. I am hoping that for future posts people on here could just send their prayers out because I have seen alot of posts on here for the past few days and I know for a fact they would be hurtful to both families. They can read this just like we can. I myself was hurt to read some of the things our community says. We all have a right to our own opinion but please be respectful of others feelings before you speak on this tragedy. Baby Athena will be dearly missed and we are doing all we can to keep both families from falling completely apart!


I'm sorry for your families loss and couldn't imagine what the family is going through...that sweet child is now with God and pray the family can do its best to heal and cope.


Send prayers WHERE? How are they made directional?


Where is this comment of suing the hospital coming from? I honestly think suing the hospital is furthest from this family's mind right now. They have a funeral for a gorgeous babygirl soon, and a trial for a (in my opinion) a mentally ill relative, not to mention some type of help for the baby's grieving mother. Right now they need answers, they need prayers, they need support. This is not just 2 families, this is a family combined. None of us unless we've been in their shoes, can imagine what they are going through right now. Please keep praying for them and Sandusky


SanMommy2, I agree with your comment. This family is going through enough already, and unless we have been through this, we have no idea what they are going through. Heaven got another Angel, and she will look over them all.


No mental illness just a monster....too many excuses for this monster...the hospitals fault, he had a mental illness, he is on drugs that's why he did it....no he is a monster and he is to blame he needs the same thing done to him in prison...I take that back im angry he is getting so much support and/or excuses made for him I don't wish any harm on no one only Justice...and he wasn't remorseful he continued to fight in jail the had to delay the arraignment because he was being violent and trying to assault staff...no mental illness...just some selfish SOB jonesing for his next hit of whatever he is on.....Monster


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.


Kam33 I can't with you. I can't sit here and debate with someone who thinks they sit next to Jesus. Are you a doctor, clearly no because you'd be conscious enough to understand this does not add up here. This is a hurtful, stressful situation for the family. As well as Sandusky. You have the nerve to sit here and judge, & poor down harsh criticism from your 1 track mind. Things like this happen all over the world unfortunately, and we had a taste of it here in this good old town. Have a little sympathy for the family, even if you hate Denzel's guts. There is a funeral today so there is no more time today for your foolishness. When you come down off your high house, hopefully you'll be a bit more kind hearted. Good day


I'm not that big on religion...I do believe in a higher power...I believe theres good and evil and its in black and white your either moral and have values and follow ALL laws or your evil and do evil deeds. Good and Evil man nothing dealing with religion here. There is NO reason for the family to tell the 911 dispatcher everything is ok and hang up....there is NO reason that baby needed to be around any fighting members of the family...the same family who told police everything was fine and handled...There is NO ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, EXCUSE, for a man...haha man I mean MONSTER to kill AN 11 WEEK OLD BABY....and this town has all to often these recent years seen EVIL and people not stepping up, turning a blind eye, or in this case making excuses for these kids behaviors.....I have seen it all to much and deal with these kids on a daily basis, mentally ill, criminals, the lost and wandering souls of these kids taken by the streets and not one parent, teacher, preacher, community taking responsibility.....Do me a favor... you see a crime and a cop asked you what you seen, and this goes for the whole community, instead of I didn't see nothing or everything is ok, or we don't need the cops here....get the balls to tell the truth and be a WITNESS FOR YOUR COMMUNITY stop the divide and take back the neighborhood from these violent offenders....but hey you keep being part of the problem and say this was a good kid, or make excuses for him...I'm not religious but I do know right from wrong and you maam are dead wrong...point the finger where it needs to be at this MONSTER....and I'm not on a high horse but im above a murdering psycho.....I do believe in God and I pray this family can heal the best they can


The first page of posts there was a comment on taking legal action against the hospital because they did not properly treat him for his mental issues. I totally disagree


Swiftshot my apologies I skimmed over the 1st page of posts. All I'm saying is I do not believe that issue is on the family's mind at this point. It may be people speaking on behalf of the family. However we all need to be in prayer for the city, and the tragedies experienced.

Simple Enough II

Has the sandusky register looked @ interviewing the father of the baby to see how he feels?


Maybe it was the drugs he was on that caused him to "snap"! I bet he is acting like a real man in jail. Got his I'm a tuff guy baby killer attitude. Maybe these people need to stop emulating the thug life and act like human beings. Where is the black on black crime group standing outside yelling "no justice no peace"?


why do you people keep trying to make excuses for this monster....I don't get it...blaming the hospitals, blaming college...uhh he was ok til he went to college...that's a stupid quote....he is to blame he left home and went wild partying and doing drugs and drinking...OVI, drug abuse, underage drinking....nobody to blame except the monster he is


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Are you still mad because no one agreed with his police record being nothing but a joke. You are so angry he underage drank so did i. He went to parties so did alot of others. Sorry you didnt when you were nineteen but to keep bringing up his record like its terrible is useless alot of us has done alot more than this at ninteen. CHILL!!


JOKE...OVI is a JOKE...11,000 people die a year from that....drug abuse...drinking underage...just saying the past year there has been a pattern not to mention what his juvenile record was like... which is sealed to the public


Chill kammie. You're gonna hurt that keyboard if you keep slammin' like that.


I'm really at loss for words. I kno the family and can clearly tell Denzel is not acting himself. I don't believe the family thought that a chaotic scene would turn into this. RIP little angel and may god be with all affected by this horrible tragedy.


The plain and simple truth here is that ALL murderers are crazy. People with normal minds don't kill other people (the exception, obviously, is self defense). So, okay, there's your excuse and your reason. The real question is what we DO with murderers after the fact.

As for prayers vs. judgmental comments, well, I appreciate that the family is suffering. But they must realize that all of us feel bad about the baby even as we resent and condemn the heck out of the man who killed her. If they find comments here hurtful (and I suspect almost EVERYthing hurts right now), I respectfully suggest they stay away from the news reports and blogs. It can't help, it won't change anything, and it most certainly WILL hurt. That's something that IS within their control. I think they ought to use it.

he said she said

I sympathy in my soul for this family for losing not only their precious little girl, but also the man that killed her.

I know a couple of kids that know Denzel. From what they say, and I don't know how true it is because I don't know him personally, he changed. They say that this Denzel that killed the baby is not the Denzel that they knew 3-4 months ago.

I'm not sticking up for him, he committed a murder but when I have kids that are no relation telling me he changed, I wonder if something did snap in his mind.