Abductor of three locked up for life
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
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PLEA BARGAIN: Ariel Castro