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East Elmhurst man gets two life sentences for killing girlfriend and her daughter with a hammer

July 6, 2017 By Christian Murray

An East Elmhurst man who bludgeoned his girlfriend and her daughter to death with a hammer in 2014 was sentenced today to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Carlos Alberto Amarillo, 48, killed Estrella Castaneda, 56, and Lina Castaneda, 25, after believing that they were witches who were casting voodoo spells on him, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

“This defendant will rightfully spend the rest of his natural life behind bars for fatally beating to death his girlfriend and her daughter – who was the mother of a young child who also happened to be in the residence that night but fortunately was not harmed,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown

Police were alerted to the murders when Amarillo made a 911 call from his 87th Street home shortly after midnight Jan. 29, 2014.

“Two females are dead, they were assassinated, hurry they are dead,” Amarillo said to the police when he called 911. “I killed them because they are witches, I want the police to kill me. I killed them with a hammer.”

When the police responded, they found Estrella in the front bedroom of their 87th Street home face up on the bed with a pillow over her face, with blood seeping into the linen and splattered on the wall. The rubber grip of a hammer was beside her body on the bed.

Police then found the body of Lina on the floor of a rear bedroom. She was face down with injuries to her head and a hammer was on the floor beside her. Lina’s seven-year-old daughter was in the home but was found unharmed.

Amarillo was convicted last month of two counts of first-degree murder, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child.

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