crimesider

Man who confessed to "Dr. Phil" producer convicted of murder

HOUSTON - Mark Castellano, a 39-year-old Houston man who at one time taped an interview with TV talk show host Dr. Phil claiming he didn't kill his girlfriend - and then later confessed to one of the show's producers - has been found guilty of murder.

A Harris County jury returned the verdict Thursday against Castellano after two days of deliberations. He was sentenced Friday to 27 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Prosecutors say Castellano choked 31-year-old Michelle Warner during a September 2012 argument at their Houston apartment. They say he drove her body to West Texas and dumped it in a shallow grave near Midland.

Castellano in 2012 taped a segment with Phil McGraw for his nationally syndicated show asserting Warner walked out of their apartment following an argument and disappeared.

Castellano later sat down with a producer for the show and confessed to the murder. That sit-down was taped and played on "Dr. Phil."

The Chronicle reports Castellano also confessed to police that he was responsible for Warner's death, and gave several versions of what led to the murder.

He could have gotten life in prison.

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