Castro sentenced to life for the murder of Nyssa police officer Joseph Johnson

Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 22:08:01-04

VALE, Oregon — 38-year-old Rene Castro has sentenced to life with the posibility of parole after 30 years.

Castro admitted to the murder of Nyssa Officer Joseph Johnson on April 15, 2023.

Rene Castro sentenced to life
Photo Courtesy of Pat Caldwell/The Malheur Enterprise.

Officer Johnson was responding to an early morning report when he was shot just a few blocks from the park which now memorializes the fallen officer.

RELATED | Idaho and Oregon communities gather to remember fallen officer, Joseph Johnson

During court, Johnson's wife gave an impact statement. Johnson's two children also had statement's read by the prosecutor and a family associate.

Linda Johnson speaking at Rene Castro's sentencing
Photo Courtesy of Pat Caldwell/The Malheur Enterprise.

Castro did not speak, when given the opportunity to do so by the judge.

“We’ve lost a really good man," said Nyssa's Mayor after the sentencing. Idaho News 6 spoke to her in Nyssa after court. "His wife and his children are without their husband and father. But we’re never going to forget him, and we’ve dedicated this park to Joe.”

In June of 2023, Nyssa dedicated North Park to the late officer.

The mayor tells me on April 15 of this year, the city plans to have a baseball game at the park in remembrance of Johnson. Both the Nyssa Police and Fire Departments will play.