Kidnapping Suspect Ariel Castro to Plead Not Guilty

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ariel Castro, facing kidnapping and rape charges in connection with the Cleveland case of three women held prisoner for about a decade, will plead not guilty, his lawyers said Wednesday.


Ariel Castro booking photo

The announcement, made on national television, is part of the defense’s opening salvos in what could become a death penalty case.

Castro, 52, has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, but prosecutors have indicated that he will face more charges from a Cuyahoga County grand jury that is dealing with the case.

Among the new charges could be aggravated murder for allegedly beating one of the women to force miscarriages — a charge officials said could bring the death penalty.

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