Attorneys for Ariel Castro and Prosecutors have reached a plea bargain. He will go to prison for the rest of his life, and will not receive the death penalty.
Castro was facing 977 charges, including the intentional death of a child, brutal treatment, and rape. Under terms of the agreement, he will receive ‘life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,’ and an additional 1,000 years.
Castro said he knew there was little doubt that he would not be convicted of most or all of the charges. He stood and quietly told the judge that he understood what was being offered.
“I knew I was going to get pretty much the book thrown at me,” 53-year-old Castro said.
The three young women who he imprisoned for more than 10 years, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, will not have to testify in open court.
Castro was arrested on May 6th after Amanda Berry escaped her imprisonment. With her was her six-year-old daughter who was fathered by Castro.
The women issued a statement more than a month ago saying they were “hopeful for a just and prompt resolution” and had “great faith in the prosecutor’s office and the court.” They also expressed their thanks to all those who have sent them ‘well wishes’ and offered their prayers.
Castro had kidnapped each of the young women at different times. They were 14, 16, and 20 at the time of their initial imprisonment. Castro knew the family of Gina DeJesus, and apparently joined in her search.
By agreeing to a plea agreement Friday, Ariel Castro will not receive the death penalty.
Alfred James reporting