Jaime Castillo

Jaime Castillo is one of the surviving Branch Davidians. Below is a transcript of Castillo's testimony at the Branch Davidian trial.

The transcript was posted February 18, 1995, from Carol Moore, who said, "Below are statements eight Branch Davidians made June 16 and 17, 1994 just before federal Judge Walter J. Smith senteced them to a total of 240 years on aiding and abetting voluntary manslaughter and/or weapons charges ... These statements, taken from the trial transcript in the order in which they were made, have been edited somewhat for clarity and brevity."

As Livingstone said, we still stand on our innocence. Or I do, in my actions pertaining to February 28th. Judge, you made a statement that the government is not on trial here. There's no doubt in my mind that the government should be on trial for its actions.

When justice and judgement is given to people to uphold the law, in relation to Congress, legislation and so forth, you've got to understand that we're all human beings and we all make mistakes. And if we make these mistakes, we have to acknowledge our mistakes. Going back to Genesis, the time of Cain, passing the buck--I think that's what happened here. People that were responsible didn't want to pay up for their actions. Most of the people I've talked to see the injustice that's been done by those responsible for letting the agents pursue that avenue.

You know, every time I wake up in the morning, I'm in a jail cell, and it's kind of hard to forget what you're going through and your experience in relation to what occurred at Mount Carmel. It's a scar that's left with me. And every day I wake up and I have to realize that I'm still alive. I've gone through an experience I try to share with people and bring them to an understanding of what happened and what Mount Carmel was about. And some people are spiritually oriented and they want to know, "Hey, what happened out there?"

I try to present to people's minds a truth that I've learned the last six years in my experience with David and the others. And the David Koresh that's been portrayed to the world, that's not the David Koresh I understand and know. That's not my friend. But David Koresh I know, that's my experience and I think I'll keep it to myself.

I tell people, "It's like this. There's two spirits in the world. There's a spirit of God and of Satan. And those who are part of that spirit of Christ have that understanding of truth, and they live their lives according to that truth, as best they can, whether Muslim, Jew, whatever." I try to put in people's minds there's a truth, and related to that truth, we've told the truth. As soon as I came out, I told the truth. I told the Texas Rangers what happened. And we came to trial to ascertain that truth.

In the light of everything that's happened, there's a God. We're hoping in something, we're hoping in the truth. We're hoping in God's word. Not following David Koresh. We're following the truth. If we're so deceived, then show me where I'm wrong. I want to know.

I just hope that out of this whole situation, I hope it's pricked the conscience of people to realize and to understand, to waken people up to the realities taking place in this world. And, hopefully, when God finally decides to do something, maybe they'll have a better understanding. Maybe they'll fear God for once in their lives.

(Jaime Castillo, 26, a musician from California, survived the fire that burned Mount Carmel. He was sentenced to 40 years but appealed.)