YouTuber Chille DeCastro a no show for second pretrial hearing, warrant issued

Published 5:12 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

After a second no show at the Ironton Municipal Court, a bench warrant was issued for YouTuber Jose “Chille” DeCastro on Thursday afternoon.

DeCastro’s pretrial hearing was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., but Judge Kevin Waldo was still finishing up cases from the morning session and DeCastro’s case wasn’t called until 1:40 p.m.

A bailiff checked the lobby outside the courtroom and reported to the  judge DeCastro was not there.

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Waldo asked Lawrence County assistant prosecutor Phillip Heald if DeCastro, who is acting as his own attorney in this misdemeanor case, had been in contact with his office.

Heald replied that his office had received motions to continue the hearing, but could not confirm that the signature was indeed DeCastro’s. Also, court motions have to be filed with the municipal clerk of courts office for Judge Waldo to consider, not with the prosecutor’s office.

Heald said DeCastro had called, but he refused to take the call. He said he had agreed at one point to talk to DeCastro at his office, but only under certain conditions including DeCastro not be insulting, not use profanity, not belittle other people and not record the conversation.

Heald later changed his mind after DeCastro was disruptive in the city and legally, he is under no obligation to talk to DeCastro.

Judge Waldo said, for the court record, that at the hearing on May 19 he said if DeCastro did not appear at “today’s hearing that a warrant would be issued for his arrest on these charges. And that is what is going to be done today. A warrant will be issued for Mr. DeCastro for his arrest.”

The bench warrant means that if DeCastro is found in the state of Ohio, he can be arrested and returned to Ironton for a hearing.

It also tacks on an additional misdemeanor charge to the three misdemeanor charges he got on March 29 for not leaving the Ironton City Center. He was arrested and charged with fourth-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct, second-degree misdemeanor resisting arrest and fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal trespass. DeCastro pled not guilty to the charges at his arraignment on March 31.

After issuing the bench warrant, Waldo then reset the case for trial at a later date if DeCastro is arrested. He asked Heald if he felt the need to request a trial date.

“No, I believe we would be able to be assured if he is here for such a hearing,” the attorney replied. “I don’t think we can do that.”

“Okay,” Waldo said. “Those matters will be resolved in due time as far as a trial date.”

He then adjourned court.

The Ironton Tribune spoke to Heald after the hearing.

Heald said the that the papers his office received did contain a written signature, but did not believe it to be DeCastro’s authentic signature.

“Besides that, you don’t file papers like that with us. You do give a copy to the prosecutor, but that doesn’t mean that it has been filed. It has to be filed with the court,” Heald said. “And so, it is my understanding that a proper motion has not been filed before the court.”

As for not taking calls from DeCastro, Heald said he agreed to on April 28, but then changed his mind because of DeCastro’s subsequent actions.

“That very day, and a couple of days after that, he caused disturbances and disruptions in the city,” Heald said, referencing DeCastro appearing at Ironton City Council on April 28, which included him talking to audience members and council members when it was not his turn to speak, as well as DeCastro going to the Ironton impound lot of April 30 when seized cars were being auctioned and insulting police officers and people bidding on the cars. DeCastro broadcast both events live on his YouTube channel.

As part of his bond, DeCastro is not supposed to be within 100 feet of potential witnesses in his case without making an appointment. Those potential witnesses include the mayor, the mayor’s assistant and the chief of police who were at the council meeting, as they normally are, and at least one of his arresting officers who was providing security at the impound lot.