Sandusky teen charged with aggravated murder in stabbing death of 11-week-old baby


SANDUSKY -- Athena Castile, an 11-week-old baby, died this morning after being stabbed by her second cousin, police said.

Charged with aggravated murder is Denzel Castile, 19, of Sandusky. He is being held without bond in the Erie County jail.

The teen was to be arraigned today, but Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said the suspect was too combative and had assaulted two Erie County sheriff's deputies during the arrest Thursday night.

Denzel M. Castile
Denzel M. Castile

Mr. Castile, an undecided first-year student at the University of Toledo, is now scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning at Sandusky Municipal Court.

Police were called to a home on Dewey Street in Sandusky at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

AUDIO: 911 call made from Dewey Street residence

AUDIO: 911 call back to Dewey Street residence after hangup

An unidentified female told a 911 operator that police were needed at the home, but hung up after the operator asked what was happening inside the home.

The operator called back and spoke to the female again, who said police were no longer needed.

"Our officers were just pulling up, ... and our officers are required to check to check on these 911 hang-up calls," the operator said.

Before the second call was disconnected, a large commotion with screaming could be heard in the background.

Inside the home, police found a melee with several people fighting.

One individual, assaulting someone who turned out to be the suspect, was Tased by police, the chief said. A woman in the house was struggling with the suspect over the baby; the suspect was able to get the child and ran into a hallway, the chief said.

An officer reported seeing the suspect had a knife and was stabbing the young girl. A family member was able to disarm Mr. Castile and then took the baby.

It was not clear how many times the baby was stabbed.

The chief said Mr. Castile resisted arrest at the Dewey home and "ran aggressively" at officers who Tased the suspect.

The suspect was treated at a hospital and then booked into the jail where he remained Friday night.

"We're still trying to sort this out," Chief Orzech said. "There's not any real explanation that we've found at this point as to why he did what he did, or anything that was provoking him to do that with a child. We're just still trying to sort through it and get some answers and I don't know if we're going to."

The suspect, who was not cooperating with police, appeared to only have misdemeanor charges in his criminal background.

"Our understanding is that he was almost a straight-A honor student in high school," the chief said. "Everybody, the family and people who know him, are kind of in shock; that this is way out of character for him."