The Moreau man convicted of assault last month for shooting and partially paralyzing a neighbor was released from jail Friday after his lawyer convinced an appeals court judge to set bail in the case.
Joey M. Castro was sent to Saratoga County Jail without bail on Oct. 22, after a Saratoga County jury convicted him of first-degree assault but acquitted him of attempted murder for an October 2017 shooting at a home on Laurel Lane.
Castro had been free on $250,000 bail bond before trial, and Castro’s lawyer, William Montgomery, petitioned Appellate Division Justice Eugene Devine to set bail again, pending sentencing.
Devine agreed and set it at $250,000 again, which Castro was able to post as of Friday morning.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said her office opposed the motion, arguing that Castro is a “flight risk” in light of the decades he faces in prison.
She said her “heart goes out to the victims in this case,” who “endured a horrific offense and an intense trial” only to have Castro released from jail already.
Montgomery has said an appeal will be filed, and it will focus in part on a judicial decision that barred him from pursuing a psychiatric defense in the case related to use of prescription medication. He filed a motion to use the defense weeks before trial was initially scheduled in early September, and trial was adjourned to review the issue.
After several weeks of review, Saratoga County Judge James Murphy denied the request because it was not timely and there was believed to be insufficient documentation.
The victim, Michael Desnoyers, was shot in the back by an AR-15-style rifle and is paralyzed from the waist down. Witnesses during a four-week trial, including Desnoyers, testified that Castro became irate during a gathering at Desnoyers’ home, went to his home and returned to open fire into a garage where Desnoyers and two other people were.
The defense tried to cast doubt on whether it was Castro who fired the gun, as he has an identical twin brother who had been at the gathering before the shooting.
Castro was also convicted of criminal use of a firearm, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and failure to register a weapon.
He was acquitted of attempted second-degree murder and unlawful manufacture of an assault weapon.
Castro will be sentenced Dec. 17 and faces up to 25 years in state prison on the assault charge. He could potentially be granted bail, pending appeal, after he is sentenced.