Bruce L. Castor, Jr.


Bruce L. Castor, Jr.

Bruce L. Castor, Jr. (born October 24, 1961) is an American lawyer and Republican politician from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Castor was district attorney for Montgomery County from January 2000 through January 2008 when he took a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. In addition to his governmental role, Castor is a shareholder and director of the Blue Bell, PA. based litigation firm of Elliott, Greenleaf & Siedzikowski.

Legal career

Castor began in the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office as a legal intern in 1985. Prior to his election as district attorney, he served as an assistant district attorney in Sex Crimes Unit, Captain of the Major Crimes Unit, and Assistant DA in charge of the Investigating Grand Jury, eventually becoming Deputy District Attorney and Chief of the Trials Division in 1991. Michael D. Marino appointed Castor as First Assistant District Attorney in 1993. In that position and later as District Attorney, Castor supervised wiretap and homicide investigations and successfully prosecuted a string of high-profile murders. From 2000 to 2008, Castor served on the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association and was elected Vice-President of that organization in 2006 and President in 2007.

Political career

In 1999, incumbent district attorney Michael D. Marino left to run for County Commissioner with James Matthews. Castor secured the GOP nomination to replace Marino. Castor won election in 1999 and re-election in 2003. He led the ticket on both occasions and set a record for the highest vote total ever in a countywide contested election in 2003.

Castor then ran for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2004 against Republican Tom Corbett. Furious that he had lost endorsements of the southeastern GOP chairmen, Castor attacked Corbett and the county chairmen with allegations of backroom deals with Bob Asher [] Castor stated that he would not accept campaign contributions from a convicted felon, nor would he benefit from any such contributions in urging Matthews not to take Asher's money.

On election day, Castor won, taking first place in the general election. His running mate placed third, giving the GOP control of the commission. This was the first time in at least 140 years that a Republican failed to capture the second spot. Castor and Matthews serve with Hoeffel, who finished second. [cite news |url=http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/113-11072007-1436703.html|title=Montco Republicans are winners|author= Jacob Fenton|publisher=The Intelligencer|date=2007-11-07 |accessdate=]

Notable Cases

* Bill Cosby - Castor declined to prosecute Cosby for sexual assault in 2005 after he found "insufficient, credible and admissible evidence exists upon which any charge against Mr. Cosby could be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt." [ [http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/02/17/cosby/ Prosecutors end Cosby investigation, "CNN", 2/22/05] ]
* Guy Sileo - murdered his business partner in the General Wayne Inn, serving a life sentence for first degree murder. A highly circumstantial case, the "General Wayne Inn" murder has been the subject of numerous television portrayals. [ [http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11374797&BRD=1674&PAG=461&dept_id=18041&rfi=6 Families, friends of victims give support to candidate, "Pottstown Mercury" 4/24/04] ]
* Caleb Fairley - sexually assaulted and murdered a mother and her child in his parents' shop, serving a double life sentence. [ [http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/weird/vampires/18.html Caleb Fairley Case, Crimelibrary.com Caleb Fairley case at crimelibrary.com] ] [ [http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11374797&BRD=1674&PAG=461&dept_id=18041&rfi=6 Families, friends of victims give support to candidate, "Pottstown Mercury" 4/24/04] ]
* Craig Rabinowitz - murdered his wife to elope with a stripper. This case was the subject of multiple television programs and a book by Ken Englade called "Everybody's Best Friend". He is serving a life sentence. [Anne Barnard, Steve Ritea and Ralph Vigoda, Rabinowitz Admits Killing Wife - A dream urged him to `do the right thing', Philadelphia Inquirer, 10-31-97] [Husband guilty of murder - obsession with stripper led to strangulation, Associated Press, 10-31-97]
* John Eichinger - murdered three young women and a small child making him the most prolific serial killer in Montgomery County history. Eichinger was sentenced to death. [ [http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15752944&BRD=1679&PAG=461&dept_id=86218&rfi=6 Carl Hessler, Eichinger confronted by loved ones of victims, King of Prussia Courier] ] This case is the subject of a pilot for a proposed television series on Castor's career in the DA's Office.
* Thomas Hawkins - sexually assaulted and murdered his young niece after doing a similar crime as a juvenile in another county and being released on parole. Hawkins is on death row.
*Pedro Vega/Jack Fink - murdered a young pregnant woman by beating, shooting, and burning her while still alive. Both serving life sentences.
*Robert Fisher - murdered a woman who was a witness to his involvement in another murder as part of a drug trafficking case. He is on death row.
*Bruce Godschalk - A man convicted of rape in 1987 (before Castor was elected) was freed in 2002 after DNA tests cast doubt on his guilt. Castor, who was under no legal obligation, originally would not offer DNA testing. Godschalk filed a lawsuit against the county which was settled for approximately $1 million. [ [http://www.staugustine.com/stories/110903/opi_1917376.shtml Maurice Possley and Steve Mills, In depth: Crimes go unsolved as DNA profiles not sent to FBI, Chicago Tribune, Reprinted in St. Augustine Record, 10/6/04] ] [ [http://www.crimlaw.org/defbrief183.html Sara Rimer, Convict’s DNA Sways Labs, Not a Determined Prosecutor, New York Times, Reprinted at www.crimlaw.com, 10/6/02] ]
*Dillon Cossey - Planned a Columbine-style attack on a local high school. Cossey was convicted in juvenile court. [cite news |first=MarieClaire |last=Dale |title=Teen Admits School-Assault Plot |url=http://a.abcnews.com/US/wireStory?id=3782761 |publisher=Associated Press, Carried at abcnews.com |date=2007-10-26 |accessdate=2008-07-19]
*Rafael Robb - University of Pennsylvania professor of Game Theory accused of murdering his wife in a rage. Pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. [cite news |title=Teen Ex-Penn Professor Pleads Guilty In Wife's Death |url=http://cbs3.com/local/Rafael.Robb.University.2.595083.html |publisher=Associated Press, Carried at cbs3.com |date=2007-11-27 |accessdate=2008-07-19]

Personal

Castor is an alumnus of Chestnut Hill Academy.

He earned his undergraduate degree in Government and Law from Lafayette College and a law degree from Washington and Lee University. He attended the FBI National Academy in 1993.

Castor married the former Elizabeth Pierce in 1989 and they are the parents of two children, Bruce III and Alexandra.

References


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