Minneapolis, MN - The father of Philando Castile has decided to claim his son after all these years, and wants part of the $3 million settlement awarded to his mother in June.
Phelex Frazier, Sr., is serving a life term in federal prison for drug trafficking, according to CBS Local Minnesota. He had asked a Hennepin County Judge to give him $500,000 of the settlement, and he denied that he was absent from his son's life.
Philando Castile's mother Valerie Castile had asked the Judge for $2 million, with the rest being set aside for attorney fees.
The matter of who gets the money from the settlement was heard in a hearing Wednesday before District Judge Susan Robiner, according to The StarTribune. The Judge got right to business and dealt with Frazier's request.
She said that "although she was impressed" with the objections that had been filed objecting to Frazier's request, they didn't matter because he didn't qualify for any of the money.
Valerie Castile's attorney, Robert Bennett, had contacted 16 of Castile's relatives before today's hearing, and asked them if they wanted to make a claim on any of the $3 million settlement. Only Frazier responded, in a July 5 letter that gave credit to Valerie Castile for raising his son. He did not say whether he wanted any of the money, but Bennett wrote in a court document that none of the relatives, including Frazier, had asked for any of the money.
Frazier sent a second letter from federal prison after notice was sent out that Valerie Castile wanted all of the settlement. In that letter, he disputed claims that he had not had any communication with his son. He also said that he "was totally blindsided by [Valerie Castile's] lack of compassion for both me and her own daughter, Alysza [sic], and the decision to award herself the entire settlement."
None of the other relatives responded. Bennett prepared a distribution plan for the court, and noted that Frazier's priority had been his own four children, who didn't even know he was Philando Castile's father until recently.
His plan also noted that Allysza Castile, whose mother is Valerie, and who is Philando's half-sister, wasn't fit to receive a large amount of money at this point in her life. She signed a consent form, and was questioned by Judge Robiner to make sure she understood.
Allysza said that she trusted her mother, and that she and her brother had always taken care of her "emotionally and financially."
At the end of the hearing, Judge Robiner told Valerie Castile that she would likely 'grant' her proposal.
In June, there was a news release that said Valerie was going to give part of the money to the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which was established to support victims of gun violence. The foundation is waiting for the IRS to recognize its status as an official non-profit.
Castile was shot and killed by former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a July, 2016 traffic stop. Officer Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm, and cleared of all charges. On that same day, the St. Anthony Police Department forced Officer Yanez in lieu of termination.