News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

Lehmans


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Ariel Castro pleads guilty and faces 1,000 years in prison
The 52-year-old will be formally sentenced next week, but the plea deal ensures he'll spend his life in prison without parole
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Ariel Castro pleads guilty to 937 charges and agrees to spent life in prison without parole.
Courtesy of WKYC
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The legal portion of the Ariel Castro kidnapping case is almost over. Today, Castro pleaded guilty to more than 900 kidnapping, rape, murder and other charges in a deal that spares his life --  but guarantees he never leaves prison.
A sentencing hearing next Thursday will finalize the terms of his punishment for holding three women captive for a decade. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, it’s a step in the healing process for the victims and the community.

LISTEN: Castro's day in court

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:04)


The plea deal ensures Ariel Castro receives life in prison without parole, plus at least 1,000 years. He forfeits all his assets and is never allowed to see the 6-year-old daughter he fathered with one of his victims.

It also means the trial that was set to begin Aug. 5 is off. That spares Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight from reliving their ordeal in court, something they wanted to avoid.

During the hearing, Castro wore glasses for the first time during any of his appearances. This time he held his head up and looked at the judge instead of staring down as he pleaded guilty to 937 of the 977 charges against him.  Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo read the charges, some individually, but many grouped into categories, and he periodically asked Castro for a plea.

Castro answered guilty to all of them, but objected several times to being termed a violent sexual predator. And he offered reasons for his behavior.

Castro claims pornography addiction and child abuse drove him
“I’m very good at reading and spelling English, but I can’t comprehend it because my addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind.”

Castro also began saying he was abused as a child, but the judge stopped him and said he could state his case during next Thursday’s sentencing. The deal hinged on the defenses’ demand that prosecutors would not push for the death penalty. After the more than two-hour hearing, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said Castro is a fraud, and that will be revealed Thursday when all the evidence and expert testimony is presented.

Prosecutor on the true Castro
“He’s a coward and nowhere near the truth. He’s in his own world, and it’s not a world of remorse or regret. He only feels sorry for one person and that’s himself, the rest is an act. This thing that he can’t read because of his addiction to pornography, I’ve got to see the expert that backs up that concoction.”

McGinty says Castro’s three victims will be represented at the sentencing hearing, though they won’t be there in person. He praised the women for outlasting their captor through bravery and helping each other out during their ordeal.

In a written statement, Berry, DeJesus and Knight expressed relief that a deal was reached and the legal process is nearly over. They repeated their request that the public respect their privacy as they heal.

Some Clevelanders wish Castro received the death penalty
In the west-side Cleveland neighborhood where Castro held the women hostage in his home, resident Carmella Kennedy said she wishes Castro had received the death penalty. But she says there is still something to be grateful for.

“I think the neighborhood was a tight, family neighborhood, and he broke the hearts of many. But at the same time, I think there was a sense of relief, just the fact that they actually made it home. That was an amazing and beautiful thing.”

The plea deal stipulates that Castro’s house and two abandoned houses next door, will be razed by the end of next month at Castro’s expense. The community members can then decide how the vacant lots will be used as that neighborhood heals.

(Click image for larger view.)


Related WKSU Stories

The neighborhood marked by Ariel Castro's horror works to recover
Friday, July 26, 2013

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University