• Man accused of murdering girlfriend held without bail


    PEABODY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A Peabody man arrested on a murder charge Thursday for his alleged connection to the death of his girlfriend was held without bail Friday at his arraignment.

    Franklin Castano, a 43-year-old Peabody resident turned himself into the police station in Lynn Thursday morning, which sparked a homicide investigation in Peabody. Castano was charged with murdering his 23-year-old girlfriend, Solanlly Paulino.

    When police arrived at Castano and Paulino's apartment, they found Paulino lying face down on a love seat, according to the police report. She was fully dressed and her head was covered with a gray and red striped towel. Police saw dried blood on the carpet beneath her head, the police report said. A lamp in the room was knocked over and there was a hole in the wall, which police believe shows signs of a struggle.

    An EMT removed the towel from her head and discovered a gunshot wound to her right temple. A spent shell casing was found on the floor next to the end of the love seat, according to the report. White latex and black leather gloves were found on the living room coffee table. The firearm was not located; but police believe Castano threw it from a vehicle while driving in Peabody.

    The Essex County District Attorney's office confirmed to FOX 25 Castano was accused of beating Paulino in a December 2010 case out of Salem. Castano was also charged with assault and battery in that case. The case was dropped when neither party would testify.

    The 43-year-old was charged three months prior to the assault case involving Paulino for allegedly assaulting his ex-wife. The district attorney's office told FOX 25 the case was dismissed because she asserted her marital privilege.

    Castano was arraigned Friday morning at Peabody District Court and held without bail.

    His attorney Michael Phelan said he was upset about the incident.

    "He was breaking up into tears when he was down there," Phelan said.

    He went on to say that he was "unaware" that Castano confessed to the murder.

    Family and friends of the victim filled the courtroom. There was also a heavy police presence and court officers told everyone to keep quiet. 

    While outside the courtroom a domestic violence advocate spoke for Paulino and all victims, saying, "The community needs to hold the abusers accountable not just intervene with the victim or put it on them to find a way to escape the situation."

    Castano is due next in court on March 25.

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