A Cape Coral man is facing life in prison following a conviction last week for a 2008 murder.
On Thursday, a Lee County jury found Andrew Jay Castor, 24, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Bianca Marela Meza Interiano, 19. The jurors deliberated for about four hours.
"Essentially, the defense we went forward with was an insanity defense," defense attorney Terence Lenamon said Tuesday. "The jury, obviously, did not believe that and voted to convict him."
Castor was additionally found guilty on Thursday of grand theft of a motor vehicle - a third-degree felony - and burglary with assault or battery, which is a first-degree felony punishable by life.
The penalty for the murder is a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of patrol.
"There's only one sentence that he can get," Lenamon said.
Castor has a sentencing hearing set for March 3.
"He was upset," Lenamon said of his client's reaction to the conviction.
"I was, obviously, disappointed in their finding," he said. "However, they had a very tough job."
Lenamon noted that insanity is a very difficult defense for any defendant to prove.
"And there was a number of things that he (Castor) had done after the killing," he said. "That really worked against some of the elements regarding the insanity defense."
According to officials, Castor attempted to cover up the homicide by stealing Interiano's vehicle, by making it appear as if a robbery had taken place and by misleading investigators.
Lenamon added that the victim was stabbed 20-plus times.
"It was just a horrible, horrible incident," he said. "Obviously, we had to overcome a lot of that for the jury to even start looking at the insanity defense."
During the trial, Castor's history of disassociation and significant depression came out. Lenamon explained that his client was previously accused of killing a cat by feeding it to an alligator at age 14.
"The state did not contest that he was mentally ill," he added, referring to prosecutors in the murder case. "They contested that he was not insane at the time of the incident."
Assistant State Attorney Robert Lee prosecuted the case.
He was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
On Aug. 2, 2008, Castor stabbed Interiano to death in her home at 1122 County Club Blvd., Apt. A. Castor and Interiano were neighbors in the duplex as he lived at 1122 County Club Blvd., Apt. B.
In October 2008, a Lee County Grand Jury indicted Castor on the first-degree murder charge.