Man Gets 85 Years to Life for Killing Westlake Carjacking Victim With His Own Truck

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A man who carjacked a driver in the Westlake neighborhood before killing him was sentenced to 85 years to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Mitchell Ray Castillo of Los Angeles received the sentence for the Dec. 11, 2017 murder of 54-year-old Ricardo “Rick” Mota, the DA’s office told KTLA on Tuesday. A jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and carjacking on Jan. 27.

Officials respond to the scene in Westlake where a man was killed after being run over with his own car as it was being carjacked on Dec. 11, 2017. (Credit: LoudLabs)
Officials respond to the scene in Westlake where a man was killed after being run over with his own car as it was being carjacked on Dec. 11, 2017. (Credit: LoudLabs)

Castillo, 38, came across Mota on the rooftop level of a parking garage near MacArthur Park and the two men got into an altercation — an incident witnesses later described to police. He then stole Mota’s Nissan truck and ran him over with the vehicle as he fled.

Surveillance footage captured Castillo leaving the garage in the victim’s pickup truck.

Mota died of cardiac arrest and multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner. Police have said he suffered severe trauma to his head and body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Within about three hours of the deadly collision, which police said was reported around 6:30 p.m., authorities tracked down Castillo in the San Fernando Valley using the stolen truck’s LoJack system.

KTLA’s Dianne Sanchez contributed to this report.

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