MADISON — A 70-year-old Boone County grandfather attempted to explain to a judge why he sold prescription pills and marijuana to his own grandson during his sentencing hearing Tuesday, June 23, in Boone County Circuit Court in Madison.
James Allen Castle was indicted on five counts of delivery of a controlled substance in January and reached a plea deal prior to Tuesday’s hearing. He pled guilty to one count of selling Hydrocodone pills to his own grandson and was asked by Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson to explain why he committed his crime.
“In my mind, I really thought I was helping my grandson by selling him my prescription medication and marijuana to keep him from doing Heroin,” Castle said to the judge. “I thought I was being compassionate.”
A stunned judge said it was the first time he had ever heard of that type of thinking when it comes to helping a family member suffering from drug addiction.
“So you are saying you thought the way to help your grandson’s drug addiction was by committing several crimes and selling him pills and pot as a benefit to him?” Judge Thompson said. “That amazes me. In reality, you were actually helping to perpetuate the problem by giving him more illegal drugs. What if he would have overdosed on the pills you gave him? It boggles the mind how you think this was a good idea.”
The judge called Castle “maybe the world’s worst grandparent.”
Castle said he thought if he took the money his grandson had away from him by selling him his prescription pills and marijuana then he would not have money to go and buy Herion, which Castle said he thought was a more harmful drug.
“I know now it was a big mistake,” he said. “I have nothing to do with my grandson now.”
Judge Thompson told Castle that if he really wanted to help his grandson he would remain involved in his life and try to get him real help.
“There are legal ways for families to try to help a drug addicted family member,” the judge said. “Selling or giving them illegal drugs is not the solution.”
Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Justin Marlow said Castle’s reasons for his crime “make no sense.”
“We already have a huge drug problem in Boone County and Mr. Castle’s excuse makes no sense,” Marcum said. “It blows my mind that a man would decide that he is going to sell his grandson drugs to help get him off drugs.”
Judge Thompson said he would take into account Castle’s age, lack of criminal history and employment history into consideration before sentencing him.
“Mr. Castle you are a drug dealer,” the judge said. “And what makes it even worse, is that you are a drug dealer that sold drugs to your own family.”
Castle was sentenced to 1 to 5 years in prison, however the judge suspended that sentenced and ordered that Castle serve 30 days in jail, pay the county back the cost of his incarceration and also pay all court costs. After serving his 30 day jail sentence, he would also be place on 36 months probation with the first 12 months being on home confinement.