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Agency sets date of death for killer

CARSON CITY — William Castillo, 35, is scheduled to be put to death on Oct. 15 for the 1995 beating death of a retired Las Vegas teacher, the Department of Corrections announced Tuesday.

The execution is scheduled to be carried out at the Nevada State Prison though the execution method used in Nevada, lethal injection, will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether it is cruel and unusual punishment.

The announcement of the review of the execution method by the nation’s high court came Tuesday, the same day Nevada officials announced Castillo’s execution date.

Castillo was working on the roof at Isabelle Berndt’s home when he found a hidden house key.

He later returned to the house with a female accomplice, burglarized the home and murdered Berndt, 86, with a tire iron.

Berndt had moved to Las Vegas in 1956 and taught at several elementary schools before retiring in 1983. She had lived in her Yale Street home for 36 years.

Castillo was sentenced to death by a Clark County jury in 1996.

If the execution is carried out, Castillo would become the 13th man to die in Nevada since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

The most recent person to be executed in Nevada was Daryl Mack in April 2006.

Castillo admitted to investigators that he killed Berndt.

Castillo’s accomplice, Michelle Platou, also faced murder charges in the case but struck a plea bargain with prosecutors before the start of her trial.

She was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

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