Jesse Castillo

A accused murder suspect will remain in jail until his trial after Tallapoosa Circuit Superior Court Judge Mark Murphy denied his bond in a Wednesday morning hearing.

Both the state and the defense presented arguments for and against Castillo’s release, but it was ultimately his flight from police in Bartow County that provided the court with reason to keep him behind bars until he can face a jury. Though Castillo has local ties in the community, Murphy found him too much of a flight risk to allow for bond.

Castillo was arrested in Bartow County after he is alleged to have shot and killed Michael L. Griffith on Clarkwood Road on February 27, then fled the scene and hid out in the Cartersville area until an anonymous tip provided police with his whereabouts. He was in custody and back in Polk County later the same day.

This despite having switched out vehicles and hiding out in two different places, according to Assistant District Attorney Jaeson Smith. Castillo had fled in a work truck that was dumped in the Cartersville area before he was able to get ahold of a second vehicle.

“Judge Murphy found him to be a flight risk,” Smith said after the hearing on Wednesday. “And had it not been for an anonymous tip, we likely wouldn’t have found him so quickly.”

Castillo is officially charged with murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a firearm or knife during the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies. He’s been in custody for just over two months since he is alleged to have committed the shooting.

Police found Griffith in the early morning hours of February 27 in a ditch shot multiple times. He was transported to Polk Medical Center’s Emergency Room via Redmond EMS and pronounced dead at the hospital.

One of the aggravated assault charges came about because Castillo is also alleged to have threatened a witness at the scene of the shooting before he fled.

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