Home Invasion

Brenda Greenwood, 24, was the mother of a one year old little girl. She and her daughter had moved into the home with her boyfriend Merced Costilla, 24, two or three weeks ago.

Before 12:40 pm on Monday morning the couple were in bed in the upstairs of their home, and they heard a noise downstairs.

Merced Costilla went downstairs to investigate. The noise he had heard was the sound of two men breaking into the home. After they shot him in the stomach, he fled upstairs but they chased him, so he fled back downstairs and exited the home. He heard gunfire in home.

Someone contacted police and report a bleeding man in the street. Responding officers found Brenda Greenwood, she had been shot multiple times. They also found the baby. She had been shot in the arm with the slug traveling into her body. But she was alive.

All three were taken to the hospital. Brenda Greenwood was pronounced dead at 1:10 am. The baby was in critical but stable condition. Police were able to interview the victim or victims. And they had recognized at least one of the men who broke into the home.

The person they said they recognized was Jaime Casillas, 26. Casillas was the father of the baby.

Brenda Greenwood and Casillas had argued about the baby earlier in the week, and the argument had prompted Greenwood to seek a protective order against Casillas.

Police located and arrested Jaime Casillas and have charged him with murder and two counts of attempted murder. Police are seeking information on the second man involved.

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You can’t wipe out the memory of a failed relationship by killing the other person, or even by killing the progeny of the relationship. Those memories will linger, as will the thought and the memory of their bleeding bodies.

But many times, they aren’t prompted by the memories. They are prompted by pride. How dare she disrespect him by ending the relationship! But tell me, how can a ‘man’ who is willing to kill the mother of his child even begin to think they deserve any respect? And did shooting his little child make him feel more like a big man?

The baby was born to two parents. A mother and a father. And if she lives, she will grow up without a mother or a father. And she will grow up with the scar that her ‘father’ gave her. She will grow up with the knowledge that her ‘father’ shot and tried to kill her. And many kids in this situation will grow up thinking their ‘father’ hated them.

Kids do not realize that parents in this type of situation do not really see them. All the person sees is their pride. A false pride, because they think that shooting a woman and a baby makes them worthy of ‘respect.’

And there was another victim in this also. He tried to live to live with them, to love them. And for that, he was shot too.


On Dec. 27 Brenda Greenwood told the court that Casillas had battered her and abducted their baby. The court issued a restraining order and ordered Casillas to give the baby back to Greenwood.

Instead of giving the baby back as ordered, Casillas showed up with the baby at the courthouse the next, where he attempted to file a restraining order on Greenwood. Officals removed the child from him and returned her to her mother.

The Casillas family has said that Casillas was at the home of a relative at the time of the shootings. Casillas’ brother was ask to come in for questioning, but he has told the media he refused on the advice of an uncle.

Casillas had previous convictions for domestic battery in 2005 and 2000 according to prosecutors.



Memorial site for Brenda Greenwood.

The Casillas family has said that Jaime Casillas was attending a family New Year’s Eve party at the time of the shooting.



Memorial Guestbook for Brenda Greenwood.


The Ending

Twyla Johnson, 23, was the mother of two children ages 3 and 4 years of age. She had been in a relationship with Joseph Reid the Third, 23,  for at least 6 months.

The two did not reside together, but he was a frequent visitor to the home. Police say they have information the couple had argued recently.

One of Johnson’s relatives went to visit her on Saturday about 8 pm. They found Twyla Johnson dead in her bed. Joseph Reid was found hanging in a closet. The relative took Reid out of the closet before police arrived. Police say the times of death are uncertain. The two children were also found in the apartment.

Autopsies show the cause of death for both was asphyxiation. Police say they found a note at the apartment that described the murder-suicide and they say the note matched the scene. Police say the notes expressed dissatisfaction with the way the relationship was going and indicated that Reid may have thought the relationship was ending, and that Johnson wanted the ending more than Reid did.

The two children are now with relatives.

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