Castro Set for Competency Test Today

Three women want the case over as quickly as possible

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 27, 2013 7:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ariel Castro will undergo an evaluation to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ordered yesterday. Although the defense and the prosecution agree Castro is competent, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo said he wants to make sure Castro is able to understand the charges and assist attorneys in his defense. The examination by a court-appointed doctor likely will be today. "We have absolutely no doubt ... that he's entirely competent, knows exactly what he's doing now and did then," Prosecutor Tim McGinty said in court.

Castro's attorney, Craig Weintraub, told reporters that he believes his client is competent for trial. "The longer this process lasts, the more painful it is for them," said a statement issued on behalf of the three women. "And the more sordid details of this horror that get disclosed in this process, the more painful it is for them," said an attorney representing Michelle Knight. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus' lawyer said the women have faith in the legal process but added, "The simple, honest truth is they would like it to be over. They want this whole thing behind them." McGinty hasn't said if he'll pursue a death sentence for a charge of forced miscarriage involving one woman.

Ariel Castro sits before a judge with his defense attorneys, Craig Weintraub, left, and Jaye Schlachet during a pretrial hearing on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Cleveland.
Ariel Castro sits before a judge with his defense attorneys, Craig Weintraub, left, and Jaye Schlachet during a pretrial hearing on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Jason Miller)
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