In 2009 Dan Casteel was arrested at Sierra Gardens Nursery in Bishop where he allegedly stole close to $150,000 from owner Nancy Roberts, according to family members. Earlier this month, the court sentenced Casteel on charges of grand theft, possession of methamphetamine and a transaction with insufficient funds – all felonies. His sentence was satisfied with time served.
In 2010, Casteel also faced other charges, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Records showed he had failed to appear on cases involving possession of stolen property, weapons charges and violation of probation. Casteel also made news when District Attorney Art Maillet reportedly called on him to wear a wire to tape murder suspect Lousi Leplat in jail when they were both inmates. Casteel then testified against Leplat.
In May of 2011, Leplat’s public defender in Ventura County wrote a letter to DA Maillet, accusing him of making a deal with Casteel to testify in exchange for not filing full charges in the Nancy Roberts’ case. Shortly after that, Maillet did file charges of grand theft and forgery charges related to the crimes against Roberts. Maillet has refused to comment.
According to Inyo Court, Judge Brian Lamb recently sentenced Casteel to 3 years in county jail for grand theft, 8 months for possession of methamphetamine and 8 more months for a transaction with insufficient funds. The Judge deemed that Casteel’s time already served in jail satisfied his 4 year and 4 month sentence. Casteel had earlier been released on his own recognizance.
While he no longer needs to serve time in jail, Casteel will have to appear for a restitution hearing in the Roberts’ case on February 14th.