Ab­duc­tor of three locked up for life

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

CLEVE­LAND: A for­mer Cleve­land school bus driver, Ariel Cas­tro, has agreed to plead guilty and be im­pris­oned for life for kid­nap­ping and rap­ing three women he held cap­tive in his home for about a decade. At a court hear­ing yes­ter­day, Ohio pros­e­cu­tors in turn agreed that he will not be el­i­gi­ble for the death penalty.

Cas­tro, 53, told Cuya­hoga County Judge Michael Russo that he un­der­stood he would never emerge from prison un­der the agree­ment. Cas­tro re­sponded: “I knew I was pretty much go­ing to get the book thrown at me.”

He was charged with 977 counts, in­clud­ing kid­nap­ping and rape, for the ab­duc­tion and im­pris­on­ment of Gina deJe­sus, 23, Michelle Knight, 32, and Amanda Berry, 27. They dis­ap­peared from 2002 to 2004, and were freed from his home in a run­down area of Cleve­land on May 6. Also freed was a six-yearold girl who, ac­cord­ing to DNA ev­i­dence, was fa­thered by Cas­tro with Berry while in cap­tiv­ity.

Avoid­ing a trial would spare them from hav­ing to tes­tify.

He had also been charged with mur­der un­der a foetal homi­cide law for al­legedly forc­ing one of the women to mis­carry. Un­der Ohio law, pros­e­cu­tors could have sought the death penalty, but the plea agree­ment pre­cludes that. – Reuters

ANTI-MURSI: Op­po­nents of Mursi chant slo­gans dur­ing a protest at the pres­i­den­tial palace in Cairo.

PLEA BAR­GAIN: Ariel Cas­tro

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