Castro makes plea deal in Cleveland kidnappings

To be senteced to life without parole plus 1,000 years
Associated Press
Jul 26, 2013

 

The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade pleaded guilty today in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

In exchange, Ariel Castro would be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years, prosecutors said.

The deal comes more than a month after a statement issued on behalf of the women said they were "hopeful for a just and prompt resolution" and had "great faith in the prosecutor's office and the court."

Castro, 53, had been scheduled for trial Aug. 5 on a 977-count indictment. The indictment included two counts of aggravated murder related to accusations that he punched and starved one woman until she miscarried. The former school bus driver also was charged with hundreds of counts of kidnapping and rape, plus assault and other counts.

He was accused of repeatedly restraining the women, sometimes chaining them to a pole in a basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van. The charges alleged Castro assaulted one woman with a vacuum cord around her neck when she tried to escape.

The sticking point on a plea deal had been whether the prosecutor would rule out the death penalty. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor had kept that issue under review.

The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each said they had accepted a ride from Castro, who remained friends with the family of one of the women and even attended vigils over the years marking her disappearance.

The women escaped Castro's house May 6 when one of them kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested within hours and has remained behind bars.

News that Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight had been found alive electrified the Cleveland area, where two of them were household names after years of searches, publicity and vigils. But elation soon turned to shock as allegations about their treatment began to emerge.

Castro fathered a 6-year-old daughter with Berry, authorities said. They allege that on the day the child was born, Christmas 2006, Castro raped one of the other women, who had helped deliver the baby.

Berry told authorities that she, her child and the other women never saw a doctor during their captivity.

Knight said her five pregnancies ended after Castro starved and repeatedly punched her.

The Associated Press does not usually identify people who may be victims of sexual assault, but the names of the three women were widely circulated after they disappeared, and they appeared in an online video thanking the public for its support. They otherwise have sought to stay out of sight and have appealed for privacy.

Comments

xtensionofme

Hope he gets raped, choked & punched in prison for the rest of his miserable, disgusting life. It would serve him right.

AEversole

He deserves the worst of the worst and I totally agree with you xtensionofme

crazyaide

This man is the devil....he will get what is coming to him in Prison!!!

Tsu Dho Nimh

Thank God these young women won't have to deal with his trial.

Yellow Snow

Michelle lost 5 babies because he starved and punched her. Where is the justice for the five lives that were snuffed out? I understand this was rape, but it is still 5 lives that never stood a chance.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Nothing of value was lost.

deertracker

Except that 22k+ he claims he had! LOL!

queenjhb

Life in prison is too good for him.

dorothy gale

He will probably be segregated for his own safety, which is very unfair. Why should he be protected? Who was protecting those girls from abuse while they were held captive? He showed them no mercy so I don't think he deserves mercy. Hope they throw him into the general population and let prison justice give him what he truly has earned.

so.....

What a coward. I am glad the women will be spared the trial but he needs to see what he's done. To hear it from the survivors point if view. Hope he suffers daily.

JACKEL

What,don't Old Sparkie work anymore?

2cents's picture
2cents
Fromthe419

I hope he ends up in general population, justice will be served if this happens, otherwise he will just grow old and we will be paying for his pathetic life.