Cleveland Shields Castro's Home From Vigilantes
Ariel Castro's house needed for evidence at trial
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
In this Tuesday, May 7, 2013 file photo, members of the FBI evidence response team carry out the front screen door from the house where three women were held captive, in Cleveland.   (Tony Dejak)

(Newser) – The dilapidated house where three women were held for nearly a decade may seem like an odd structure to protect, but that's exactly what the city of Cleveland is doing. A 10-foot privacy fence is going up around Ariel Castro's home, reports the AP, in a bid to safeguard it from vigilantes who would like to burn it down. Police will also monitor the residence with 24/7 surveillance, the Daily Beast reports. The burn-it-down worries are based in some sort of reality: Threats to do just that have been floating around. But both prosecutors and the defense want the house to remain intact until Castro's trial concludes.

"The prosecutors are going to want to preserve it so they can take jurors into it to view, and the defense would want it preserved so at least they could do their own investigation," explains a law professor. It's unlikely the house would be needed once the trial ends; typically only evidence like weapons or fingerprints are preserved for appeals, he said. So what happens then? That's up to the neighbors as well as victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, says a city councilman, and right now the neighbors, at least, want the place demolished. But first, thousands of dollars in unpaid tax liens on the house would have to be sorted out as the city attempts to control the property. In the end, Cleveland, not Castro, will likely have to pay for the demolition if it occurs.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Tology
May 14, 2013 11:31 AM CDT
They need to keep the house untouched until the trial is over to protect the crime scene, people who want the house gone just don't realize it.
fractal
May 13, 2013 1:33 PM CDT
Last time there was a serial killer in my city, a local millionaire bought the house and demolished it after the trial.
finkster
May 13, 2013 8:05 AM CDT
"A 10-foot privacy fence is going up around Ariel Castro's home, reports the AP, in a bid to safeguard it from vigilantes" We have here a peculiar situation, Mr. Kersey. It's necessary to make a proposition since you won't favour us by dying. You work for a company with lots of offices. Get a transfer to another city......and I'll drop this gun in the river. Are we connecting, Mr. Kersey? We want you to get out of New York, permanently. Inspector......by sundown? Death Wish