An Oxnard transient was sentenced this week to six years in prison this week for separate attacks on two elderly people in April.
Adam Barcenas, 57, was found guilty in June after pleading 'no contest' to two counts of felony elder abuse and resisting arrest.
Here are the horrifying details of what happened.
On April 13, Barcenas approached Armina Castro, 71 and an 80-year-old man in two separate incidents as the victims were walking to their cars. According to the victims statements to police, he 'smiled' at them before kicking and beating them.
Initially, investigators said both victims suffered only 'minor' injuries and refused to go to the hospital.
Armina Castro did end up going to the hospital that night for treatment. Investigators say she was treated for six days and was released, but ended up BACK at the hospital on April 21st and died the following day.
According to the Ventura County Star:
James Baroni, a senior medical examiner investigator in the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office, said Castro "died as a result of a "bilateral pulmonary embolism due to deep-vein thrombosis due to complications of blunt-force trauma. A blood clot formed as a result of the blunt-force trauma."
So...you're probably asking why wasn't Barcenas charged with homicide in Castro's death, her family certainly wanted to know why this wasn't considered a homicide case.
According to prosecutors, there was not enough evidence to charge Barcenas with murder or manslaughter.
In a Ventura County District Attorney's Office press release from June 26, District Attorney Gregory D. Totten wrote:
"After a thorough investigation, no additional charges will be filed against Adam Barcenas (DOB 7-22-62) of Oxnard relating to victim Armida Castro, aged 71, also of Oxnard. Barcenas is currently charged with a felony count of elder abuse for assaulting Ms. Castro on April 13, 2019, a felony count of elder abuse against another victim the same day, and one felony count of resisting an officer. Ms. Castro died on April 21, 2019.
Oxnard Police Department conducted an extensive investigation into the circumstances underlying the crimes previously charged, as well as Ms. Castro’s medical history. After a thorough review of the case, it has been determined that due to Ms. Castro’s significant pre-existing medical conditions, it cannot be established the assault alleged to have been committed by Barcenas was a substantial factor causing Ms. Castro’s death. Thus, no homicide charges will be filed in this matter."
Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence Barcenas to eight years in prison. According to a report cited in court during sentencing, Barcenas suffers from mental illness but 'stabilizes' when he is under treatment. The judge, after reviewing the case and noting that Barcenas had a prior strike for robbery, BUT in that case, he turned himself in, apologized and returned the money, he decided six years was an appropriate sentence. The judge also instructed Barcenas to seek counseling while in prison.
The sentence doesn't sit well with Armina Castro's family. Her daughter, Marie Castro Hamilton told ABC7:
"I believe that Adam Barcenas is a menace to society and that Oxnard does not want him on the streets."
She told the Ventura County Star:
"He gets three meals and to watch TV and my mother is in a cemetery. Six years I don't think is enough. Give him the maximum, even though 11 years and four months is not a lot."