Ashley Castro pleaded guilty July 22 to second-degree murder in the 2015 killing of her four-year-old son, officials say.

A Tucson mother will spend the next 20 to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the death of her four-year-old son.

Ashley Castro, 35, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder after her son, Ezekial, died at Diamond Children's Medical Center on Nov. 5, 2015.

Ezekial was taken to the hospital on Oct. 23 after experiencing medical problems, later determined to be from high levels of sodium in his body, Tucson police said in 2015.

A week later, his sodium level returned to normal while his family was with him, according to Daily Star archives.

However, Ezekial's sodium levels spiked higher than when first admitted to the hospital by the next day, police said. 

Castro was then arrested on one count of child abuse after police detectives investigated the incident.

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The murder charge was added after Ezekial died on Nov. 5 due to complications related to the high doses of sodium, police said.

She would later admit to giving Ezekial the mixture of salt and water, the Associated Press reported.

Castro's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1


Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.