Charges: Robert Castillo fatally stabbed wife Corinna Woodhull at a Bible study in St. Paul

If convicted of the murder charge, Castillo faces up to 40 years in prison.
Robert Castillo
Robert Castillo(KVLY)
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:47 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:52 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) - A 40-year-old St. Paul man with a violent criminal history is accused of fatally stabbing his wife during a Bible study earlier this week.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Robert Castillo with second-degree murder in connection to the stabbing, which occurred Tuesday at a residence on the 1000 block of Maryland Avenue East in St. Paul.

According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul police officers responded to the residence at around 9 p.m. on the report of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found 41-year-old Corinna Woodhull with severe injuries to her torso, chest and arms. Police said Castillo was being held down on the floor by several people.

Woodhull was treated at the scene and taken to Regions Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Castillo’s sister told police that she hosts Bible study at the home on Tuesday nights with family members. She said Woodhull and Castillo arrived and sat together on a couch, the complaint said.

At one point Castillo whispered something into Woodhull’s ear and then pulled out a knife and stabbed her repeatedly, the complaint said.

Castillo was then tackled by family members and disarmed. Another witness at the Bible study says they believed Castillo would have stabbed others had he not been disarmed, the complaint said.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office has since ruled Woodhull’s death as a homicide due to multiple sharp force injuries.

The complaint notes that Castillo had an active warrant out for his arrest at the time of the stabbing and recently failed to appear at a pretrial hearing in connection to fourth-degree assault charges in Washington County. He allegedly assaulted a prison guard while being an inmate in Stillwater. He also has eight prior felony convictions that include first-degree assault, second-degree assault, possession of a firearm by an ineligible person and second-degree burglary.

Castillo’s second-degree assault conviction was for beating the purported mother of his child with a hammer, causing substantial bodily harm.

According to the complaint, Castillo briefly spoke with investigators, telling them he and Woodhull had been legally married for a couple years and lived together in Golden Valley up until a month ago. Castillo wouldn’t say why they no longer lived together and requested his attorney, so the interview ended.

Castillo’s brother, who was also at the Bible study, told police Woodhull and his brother had been having marital problems.

Woodhull is survived by her five children. She also leaves behind a community of recovering drug addicts who describe her as an inspiration. Phil Tyler is the founder of Against All Odds Ministries, a group he says was made better because of Woodhull’s enthusiastic attendance.

Tyler shared with us Woodhull’s own words she offered to the group: “G-d has restored my life from the ground up into freedom, redemption, and forgiveness. Made depression into hope, made despair into redemption, turned my pain into purpose.”

“It takes courage to get out of our comfort zone sometimes, and I always tell people your story can change someone’s life,” Tyler said. “Corinna treated people with love and encouragement, and was a beacon of hope for people.”

Against All Odds Ministries is working on a project to raise money to support Woodhull’s family, including her kids. Anyone interested in supporting that effort can contact the group for more details.

If convicted of the murder charge, Castillo faces up to 40 years in prison.