Ex-girlfriend gets life in prison for deadly beating

Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-22 18:48:51-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. - Maryann Castorena will be spending life behind bars for killing her ex-boyfriend, Jose Hernandez, earlier this year.

The victim’s family members were in court Monday as that sentence was read.

Eleven months after Hernandez was found beaten to death in the snow — his family found some peace.

Castorena, who was found guilty of first-degree murder and three additional charges, is serving the sentences concurrently. That means they’ll be carried out at the same time, as opposed to one after the other.

The co-conspirator in this case, Anthony Alfredo De La Garza, was charged and found guilty for second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, was sentenced to up to 23 years in prison.

Police believe Castorena’s motive was the 38-year-old’s insurance policy on which she was named the beneficiary.

Jose Hernandez was found dead in the snow in January. Police say his car had been running for 24 hours before he was discovered in the parking lot of the Amberwood Apartments.

Investigators say he was beaten and died from head trauma.

Monday, in court, Castorena maintained her innocence, which is something Judge Edward Post didn’t agree with.

“No reasonable person could look at this evidence and think that you are innocent of this crime,” said Judge Post. “You are clearly guilty without a reasonable doubt.”

Castorena said she plans on appealing Monday’s sentencing.