Cleveland Suspect May Face Death Penalty

Prosecutors plan murder charges against Ariel Castro over forced abortions

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 9, 2013 4:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ariel Castro already has been charged with rape and kidnapping, but prosecutors plan to bring murder charges as well that could result in the death penalty. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor says he will pursue aggravated murder charges on allegations that Castro forced his captives to terminate pregnancies, reports the Plain Dealer. (Michelle Knight in particular has told police that Castro got her pregnant five times, then beat and starved her until she miscarried each time.)

"This child kidnapper operated a torture chamber and private prison in the heart of our city," said prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty. He also promised to charge Castro for each instance of rape and assault that the women can recall, reports AP. Castro is being held on $8 million bond, though his brothers Onil and Pedro were released this morning, reports CNN. Prosecutors have said no evidence suggests they knew what was going on.

This image provided by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's office shows the booking photo of Ariel Castro.
This image provided by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's office shows the booking photo of Ariel Castro.   (AP Photo/Cuyahoga County)
Ariel Castro appears in Cleveland municipal court Thursday.
Ariel Castro appears in Cleveland municipal court Thursday.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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