Man sentenced to 35 years in prison for stabbing mother to death

Ivan Rafael Castro stabbed Leticia Barnett in her neck in 2018

Ivan Castro.

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man has been sentenced to prison for fatally stabbing his mother at her Monticello Park home in 2018, court records show.

Ivan Rafael Castro, 33, was sentenced to 35 years on Friday after accepting a plea deal, according to records. He will be credited for his time already served behind bars.

San Antonio police arrested Castro after his mother, 54-year-old Leticia Barnett, was found with severe stab wounds on May 24, 2018, at her home in the 2100 block of West Kings Highway.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police did not release a motive, and Barnett’s husband told KSAT that she was helping her son financially.

The husband, who did not want to be named, said that Castro moved into the home while he got back on his feet.

The husband was at the home at the time of the attack and saw Castro with blood on his clothing. The man rushed inside to find his wife with stab wounds to her neck.

He said he also didn’t know what triggered the stabbing.

The District Attorney’s Office said that Castro claimed Barnett sexually abused him when he was a child. That abuse never happened, the DA’s office said in an email.

“This defendant took his mother from their family, leaving his sister and stepfather without the woman they loved. I know that the path to justice for this family has been long and challenging, but now that this defendant has been sentenced I hope they can continue to celebrate Mrs. Barnett’s life,” Bexar County DA Joe Gonzales said in the email.

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.