A mother’s two-year wait for justice has ended.
Christian Cortuan Castro, 23, of Oklahoma City, was convicted by an Oklahoma County jury Monday night of the first-degree murder of Darryl Glenn Davis Jr. Jurors chose a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Davis, 22, was killed the night of Jan. 23, 2012, in a southwest Oklahoma City neighborhood. He was found by police dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head near SW 8 and Brookline Avenue.
As jury deliberation stretched from afternoon and through the evening, Davis’ mother, Kim Smith, began to worry that jurors would acquit Castro or convict him of a lesser charge of accessory or accomplice to murder, she said.
“My heart just started pounding, and I'm telling myself, ‘Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry,’” she said.
Those worries dissipated when the jury returned its guilty verdict.
“I was kind of like numb. I'm happy that he got life without parole. I'm just thinking that my son can rest now,” Smith said.
Another man with Castro the night of the shooting, Nelson Williams, initially also was charged with first-degree murder. Williams later agreed to testify against Castro in exchange for a lesser charge of accessory to murder.
Williams testified that it was Castro who shot Davis in the back of the head. Several other details from his version of events were corroborated by other facts in the case.
Williams also testified that in the moments leading up to the shooting, he and Davis talked about their relationships and how both of their girlfriends were pregnant.
“It sounded like something he’d say. He was talking to Williams about having a baby on the way,” Smith said.
“It let me know that he was thinking about his son before all this happened,” she said.
Davis’ son, Dakota, is now 18 months old.
When Castro testified, he identified Williams as the shooter.
The day of the shooting, Williams had purchased a handgun at an Oklahoma City pawn shop with Castro. But experts testified that it was Castro’s gun that fired the fatal shot.
Prosecutors argued that Castro shot Davis over a negligible sum that he borrowed to cover a strip club outing days before the shooting. The three men worked together at a local furniture store.
“He only knew them for three weeks,” Smith said. “He’d just graduated from JobCorps in November or December, and he got that job in January.”
Castro’s formal sentencing is next month. A trial date has not been set for Williams.
“It will give us some kind of closure,” Smith said. “It won’t bring him back, but at least we have some kind of justice.”