A 27-year-old man was sentenced on Friday for what a Denver district court judge described as the “senseless, reprehensible and brutal murder” of his girlfriend.
Sean Landrock, 27, received the maximum sentence on Friday for the domestic violence-related murder of Shaina Castillo in August 2019.
On Aug. 12 of that year, Landrock stabbed her in the throat and shot her in the chest. He killed Castillo, a Native American woman, in front of her three sons, then 5, 3, and 1 year old, according to his arrest affidavit. He then left the apartment, which was along the 8000 block of E. 12th Avenue, and the children alone with Castillo's body, the affidavit reads.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said studies show Native American women suffer domestic violence at high rates and her office is committed to securing justice for them.
“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this case sends a very clear message to all abusers: Denver’s system of justice will hold you accountable for your violent actions," she said. "This was a tragic case and I am proud of the professionalism, grace and passion that our victim advocates, investigators and prosecutors showed Ms. Castillo’s family, friends and most of all her children.”
He was charged in Castillo's death and a jury found Landrock guilty of second-degree murder and three counts of child abuse in August 2021.
On Friday, Denver District Court Judge Edward Bronfin sentenced Landrock to 48 years in prison for the murder charge and 12 months for each child abuse charge. The sentences will run consecutively.
Landrock was also sentenced to five years of parole and was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution.
Bronfin said the case was one of the more aggravated cases he had presided over in his 13 years as a judge.
According to a 2016 study by the National Institute of Justice, about four out of five American Indian and Alaska Native women and men have experienced domestic violence, with more than 1/3 having experienced violence in the past year.
The study found most of the victims experience violence by an interracial perpetrator — somebody from another race — versus somebody of the same race.
It also found that American Indian and Alaska Native women are 1.2 times as likely as a white woman to have experienced violence in their lifetime.
In the past few weeks, the focus on missing indigenous women has also been highlighted as federal efforts rigorously searched for the body of Gabby Petito.