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Rae M. Castro and Daryl Andrew Schlappi were sitting in their West Valley bedroom on the crisp morning of Feb. 6 - talking.

Castro was expecting their first child in about a month and things were going well.Then about 8 a.m., the unforgettable knock came at the door.

Castro said she told Schlappi, alias German, to go downstairs and get the door.

He did, and the next thing she knew, he was asking her to gather a few of his things.

Schlappi was being arrested in a California slaying that occurred in 1988.

Even though Schlappi, 29, had told Castro of the rough life on the streets of Oceanside, Calif., that included transients and drugs, he hadn't told her of the case that had stymied police for several months.

After finding William "Bones" Odom, 30, lying wounded near the San Luis Rey River in the early evening of Sept. 8, 1988, rescuers took him to a hospital. Reports indicate he was shot in the abdomen, neck, wrist and legs. He died later in surgery.

Police interviewed a variety of transients but were having a difficult time finding a consistent story about who killed Odom, said Schlappi's attorney, Terry Kolkey.

All that changed in December 1989 when Glen Dylan "Psycho" Sinaiko entered the Oceanside Police Department and confessed to the crime. Kolkey said the reason for Sinaiko's nickname is his history of going to mental institutions.

Kolkey and Oceanside police indicated that the shooting was part of a drug deal that may have gone bad.

But Sinaiko's confession implicated Schlappi. He told police that he fired a non-lethal shot at Odom and then handed the gun to Schlappi. It was Schlappi who fired the shot that ultimately killed the victim, Sinaiko reportedly said.

Not knowing all this, Castro was confused by all the activity. She remembers seeing Schlappi in handcuffs and wondering why. Only the angry exhortations of a neighbor persuaded authorities to tell Castro what was going on.

Despite all that's happened, Castro still plans to marry Schlappi after he "beats this rap," as she believes he will. He's told her he plans to adopt two of her children. She strongly believes he is innocent.

The case is scheduled to go to trial on July 24.

Sinaiko, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on May 17. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Castro, for her part, waits - for calls, letters and the ultimate results of the case. She plans to go to the trial. She is living in West Valley City and working for a trucking company there.

Her health has suffered. In a series of sad coincidences, she missed each of the judicial proceedings that led to extradition from Utah.

On the day of the hearing, she was in a car accident. On the day Schlappi was taken out of the state, a fellow inmate left a message for her, but she didn't get it before Schlappi was out of state.

And, worst of all, on March 30, she delivered their daughter, Charisa, alone. "It wasn't easy," she says.