Witness supports self-defense claim of Madison HS student charged with murder

Teen was lured out of home and jumped, lawyer says

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Madison High School student charged with murder has been reunited with her family after her charges were dropped, her lawyer said Friday.

Bexar County prosecutors dismissed murder and aggravated assault charges against the 16-year-old Madison High School junior after newly discovered evidence of self-defense, Assistant District Attorney Christian Henricksen said Friday.

“Based on what we know about this case, it wasn’t appropriate for us to go forward,” he said.

The teen, who has not been identified since she is a juvenile, fatally cut Kaitlin Castilleja, 18, and also stabbed Vivan Foster, 18, on March 1. She was taken into custody and remained there until she was freed Thursday.

Prosecutors initially intended to try her as an adult, but that changed after an interview with a witness  who helped lure the teen out of her Northeast Side home, Henricksen said.

The interview backed up the teen's self-defense claim, which her lawyer Libby Weidermann had maintained all along.

“She was actually lured outside on the idea that she was being picked up by a friend to go out, when she was actually being set up,” Weidermann said.

There had been ongoing drama among several young women, Weidermann said, and her client was suspicious about the friend’s invitation.

“She’s looking out the window, and she gets a steak knife. She gets a steak knife from the kitchen, just kinda to be on the safe side,” she said. “She came out, was standing there waiting for the alleged friend of hers when the two complainants came from different directions with hoods on and jumped her.” 

Henricksen said they investigated the case diligently.

“We were working hard to make sure that we gave it all the time and effort that it deserved,” Henricksen said.  “I mean, there’s a girl who died here.”

Weidermann said the teen will try to recover from the incident now that she's back home with her family.

“I think she’s going to be OK,” she said.  “I think she’s still in shock.”

The teen had been scheduled to appear in juvenile court on Friday for a hearing. 

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