A man with a violent past was charged Thursday with murder on accusations that he stabbed his wife in the heart during weekly Bible study at her sister's home in St. Paul.
Robert Castillo, 40, of St. Paul was charged with second-degree intentional murder in connection with the attack Tuesday on 41-year-old Corrina Woodhull.
Castillo was restrained by others at the residence in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood until police arrived and arrested him. Castillo appeared in court Thursday and remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bail. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
At the time of the attack, a warrant was out for Castillo's arrest stemming from when he failed to show up in court in connection with charges that he assaulted two corrections officers in 2020 while in Stillwater prison, where he was serving time for hitting a woman in the head with a hammer in 2014.
According to the criminal complaint:
Officers were dispatched about 9 p.m. to the 1000 block of E. Maryland Avenue and saw Woodhull bleeding from wounds to her torso, chest and arms. Police located a 6-inch hunting knife nearby.
As police took him to jail, Castillo asked, "Is she going to be OK?" the complaint quoted him as saying. Woodhull was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital 40 minutes after being stabbed. One of the stab wounds penetrated her left chest and heart, according to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office.
Woodhull's sister said Castillo whispered something in his wife's ear as the couple sat on the couch. She shook her head no, and Castillo stabbed her about 20 times. The sister said she grabbed Castillo by the hair to pull him off Woodhull. Other family members stepped in, stopped the stabbing and held Castillo down.
Once the attack stopped, another Bible study participant came to the aid of Woodhull and heard her say, "Don't let me die."
Castillo's brother said the couple had been having marital problems of late but seemed fine that evening.
The sister said Castillo "had a thing about carrying a knife all the time to protect himself," the complaint read.
When investigators asked Castillo about what happened, he replied, "I don't want to discuss," the complaint quoted him as saying. He did reveal that he and Woodhull had been married for a couple of years and were residing in Golden Valley until a month ago. He declined to say why they were no longer living together.
An investigator told Castillo that his wife had died, and he said, "No, she didn't."
Woodhull's survivors included five children, according to a verified GoFundMe account established by friend Erin Meszaros with the mission "to make her dreams of helping others in her shoes happen."
Meszaros explained that "Corrina was an advocate for those in [substance abuse] recovery. She had a passion to help others experiencing substance use disorder and domestic abuse and violence. ... You would find Corrina most days helping at church [and] volunteering at non-profits. ... I know she was welcomed home by the Lord with the words 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' "