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Information in probable cause documents explains charges in Ottawa Co. murder

HOLLAND, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Two people have now been charged with beating a man to death in Ottawa County, and now detectives say it was about money--a lot of it.

In January, the body of 38-year-old Jose Hernandez was found in the snow outside the Amberwood Apartments in Park Township.

Investigators say Hernandez's ex-girlfriend, Maryann Castorena and his former roommate Anthony Delagarza are to blame.

Castorena has a new attorney based in Grand Rapids, who spoke to Newschannel 3 about the charges.

He tells Newschannel 3 that the charges are very serious, but he still hasn't had a chance to review the evidence, so we provided him a copy of the transcript from Wednesday's probable cause hearing.

One of the most interesting things we found is that according to detectives, last year a car belonging to Hernandez was torched, and the crime was never solved.

Detectives now say Castorena hired Delagarza to do it as part of an insurance fraud scheme.

On January 9, detectives say they searched Maryann Castorena's home and took a hand-written note from Castorena's bedroom, which they say Castorena has admitted to writing.

Detectives say it described events similar to the way Hernandez's homicide was carried out, it mentioned his Park Township apartment, and said "by his car," and "so he doesn't cancel policy past this month."

According to detectives, this is interesting because Castorena is a sole or joint beneficiary of several of Hernandez's insurance policies, his 401K, and stock options through work.

All told, detectives say it's worth over $1.25 million.

Detectives say Castorena also admitted to driving a truck the night of the murder, which is where "several bloodstains were located," and were "found to be a match" for Hernandez.

Finally, detectives say Castorena told them she could "get a confession from Hernandez's killer," and that the suspect was Delagarza; they add they also found "two latent fingerprints" on the note they took from Castorena's bedroom belonging to Delagarza.

Detectives also say they have a witness who helped Delagarza torch Hernandez's car. They say that same witness was approached by Delagarza about another job where he was going to kill a man to collect the insurance.