Trial of Boise Barbacoa restaurant owner starts Monday

The owner of Boise’s popular Barbacoa restaurant appeared to have reached a plea deal with prosecutors in early March, but that deal fell through and a jury trial was rescheduled to begin today.

An Ada County jury will decide this week if Robert Castoro is guilty of felony domestic violence and felony drug possession.

The jury will be seated Monday, starting at 10 a.m. in the courtroom of 4th District Judge Melissa Moody. Opening arguments are set to begin on Tuesday. The trial is expected to run about three days.

The felony charges against Castoro stem from a June 9, 2014, incident at his East Boise home. Police were called to his house for a report of a domestic dispute. Police say Castoro was found to be in possession of a small amount of cocaine, but he was not arrested at the time. The investigation was forwarded to prosecutors for review.

If convicted of the felony domestic violence charge, the 47-year-old faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000. The penalties for a conviction of felony drug possession are up to seven years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.

The prosecutor’s office issued a warrant for Castoro’s arrest on July 22, and he was taken into custody as he got off a plane at the Boise Airport on Aug. 5. He was booked into the Ada County Jail, but posted $10,000 bond and was released.