Father Fights Divorce Effort

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By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Montgomery County man accused of drowning his three young children in a hotel bathtub is fighting his wife's efforts to divorce him and intends to question her about donations she received after the children were slain.

Mark Castillo, who has said he killed the children in part to spite her, is challenging the terms of a divorce agreement he signed in September while being held at the state's forensic psychiatric hospital awaiting trial.

At a recent hearing in the divorce case, Castillo appeared to suggest that he might seek a portion of the money his wife received during an outpouring of public sympathy, as well as retirement savings and unspecified insurance money.

Amy Castillo declined to be interviewed for this article. Zeke Wharton, a friend who has served as her spokesman, described the divorce proceeding as "very frustrating."

"Dragging this out only serves to prolong the grieving," he said.

"Certainly he is slowing down this process," Wharton said. "In his position, he should be as accommodating as possible."

Mark Castillo is representing himself in the divorce proceeding. His public defender has not commented in the past, citing a gag order in the criminal case, and a spokeswoman for her office declined to comment on the divorce proceedings.

The Castillos married a decade ago. They separated in 2006 and began a lengthy and often contentious custody dispute over their children.

In March this year, Mark Castillo drove the children -- Anthony, 6, Austin, 4, and Athena, 2 -- to Baltimore and checked into a hotel near the Inner Harbor. He ordered room service and then drowned them, one by one, in the bathtub, police say.

Castillo then stabbed himself in the neck repeatedly with a steak knife, drifted into unconsciousness, woke up and swallowed upward of 100 Motrin and Aleve pills, police said.

Castillo, 42, is charged with three counts of murder.

On June 4, Amy Castillo amended her existing divorce claim against Mark Castillo, citing the killings. "There is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation," her attorney wrote.

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