Mother of victim couldn’t recognize own daughter


ST. CLAIR CO. — Nearly four months after an incident between two women left one in a hospital in critical condition and later passing away, the woman responsible for beating an Almont woman to death, has received her own punishment.

44-year-old Raquelle Casillas of Mussey Township had plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter back in September.

That charge came after prosecutors reduced the original charge of open murder as part of a plea deal.

During a Zoom meeting earlier this week, where she attended from the St. Clair County jail, Casillas listened as a Circuit Court judge sentenced her to between three and 15 years in prison.

Those in the courtroom said the victim’s mother gave a statement Monday, asking the judge to consider the maximum sentence.

She told the court when she arrived at the hospital June 8, she did not recognize her daughter, due to the injuries to her face.

During preliminary examination testimony earlier this year, the Capac man involved in the three-way romantic arrangement revealed Casillas told him she never intended for the incident to happen
with the outcome that it had.

A St. Clair County Assistant Prosecutor told the court it was a tragic case and there was no way of knowing what was going through Casillas’ head at the time and whether there was intent by Casillas to kill.

Casillas earlier claimed the dispute was mutual, but the prosecutor’s office has said the event went beyond reasonable self defense.

Casillas had plead guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter of an Almont woman. The two women were at the home of a Capac man at the time of the incident and ended up in a late-night scuffle that involved alcohol, according to police reports.

In June, Casillas got into an altercation with the 44-year-old victim over a shared romantic involvement. During the altercation, Casillas told police she had repeatedly struck the victim on the head.

The Capac man who owned the home said Casillas told him she had sat on top of the victim and had hit her in the face multiple times, each time slamming the victim’s head against a wood floor.

According to investigators, Casillas was arrested a few days after the incident, after the victim died from severe head trauma.