Ariel Castro Accepts Plea Deal; Sentencing Hearing Scheduled

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Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who held three women captive in his East side residence for over a decade, has accepted a plea deal arrangement sentencing him to life in prison plus 1000 years. 

Castro, 53, by accepting the deal was spared the death penalty and saves the public and the victims the revelations of the decade long imprisonment in his self made house of horrors.

In a statement made on Monday’s NBC’s “Today” Show Castro’s son agreed with the sentence and stated, it “was appropriate.”

The original indictment issued after the initial arrest was later amended to include 977 charges including 512 counts of kidnapping, 446 counts of rape and 2 counts of fetal homicide.  He pleaded guilty to 937 of the charges.

Other details of the plea arrangement indicate he will be labeled a sexual predator, which he originally objected to the wording, as well as the characterization of him as "violent." He will also forfeit all personal property, possessions and his home and has agreed not profit from his crimes.

A former Cleveland bus driver, Castro left few warning signs of the severity of his crimes. It wasn’t until, May 6, 2013, when one of his captors broke down the front door and escaped that the world knew the full extent of the atrocities in the house located on a residential street with neighbors separated by only three feet on either side.

The three women, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, along with Berry’s four year old daughter, were all rescued after Berry escaped the east side torture chamber, with the assistance of neighbors, and ran screaming into the street.

The other two women, each abducted within a year of each other, were led out by Cleveland Police when they arrived on the scene.

The three have issued a joint statement thanking the public and asking for continued respect for their privacy as they heal from the ordeal.

Berry, always considered the most composed, has made several public appearances including onstage with the rapper Nelly at Roverfest in Cleveland’s Voinvich Park.

The three women have been given the opportunity to address the court, through any method in person or through representation, during the sentencing hearing scheduled for August 1, 2013.
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