Appeals court upholds conviction of Granger man who killed his wife in 2017

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YAKIMA, Wash. — An appeals court on Thursday upheld the convictions of a Granger man who murdered his wife, then dismembered her body and burned her remains, according to the Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office.

Jaime Munguia Alejandre killed his wife, Maria Gonzalez Castillo, following an argument at their Granger home in 2017 home. Authorities said he dragged her body out of a bedroom window, dismembered her in the backyard and burned her remains. Two of their eight children found her remains the next morning.

Alejandre received 220 months as a base sentence for second-degree murder, plus another 110 months for aggravating circumstances — a total of 27.5 years in prison. He was also convicted of unlawful disposal of human remains, for which he received 90 days.

On appeal, the defendant argued that the State commented on his right to remain silent during the trial and failed to prove that he and the victim were “family or household members” for purposes of a domestic violence aggravator, Brusic said.

The Court of Appeals found that an improper question during trial was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and that there was sufficient evidence that Alejandre and the victim were spouses.

“I would like to truly thank the Yakima County Sheriff s Department for their investigation as well as Yakima County Deputy Prosecutors Brooke Wright and Tamara Hanlon for their hard work on the trial and appeal,” Brusic said.