Ariel Castro, a 53 year-old former bus driver and convicted rapist, kidnapper and abuser, has apparently hanged himself in his prison cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio late on the night of Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013. Castro’s death is yet another twist in the dramatic Cleveland, Ohio kidnapping case that has captivated the attention of the nation.
On August 1st, 2013, Castro pleaded guilty to and was convicted on 937 counts of rape and kidnapping for his actions over an 11-year period. During that time, Castro captured and held hostage three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Castro repeatedly tortured, starved and raped the three women in a dungeon that he had built inside his Cleveland, Ohio home. During Castro’s sentencing trial, the victims spoke in open court about the details of the horror that they had experienced at Castro’s hands. One of the victims, Amanda Berry, had been impregnated by Castro and gave birth to a 6 year-old girl. For his crimes, Castro was served to life in prison, plus 1,000 years.
Castro was transferred from a county jail where he was being held pending the outcome of the case to the Correctional Center in Orient. While Castro was on suicide watch at the county jail, he was not so closely monitored at the Correctional Center. Castro was kept separate from the general population, a move that cost the state an extra $25,000 per year. Castro was also checked on by a guard once every 30 minutes. Obviously, this was not enough to keep Castro from committing suicide.
Castro’s defense lawyers have questioned the circumstances of Castro’s death and his detention at the Correctional Center. One of the defense lawyers remarked “I understand that the public in general is probably going to say, ‘Well, good riddance.’ But this is a human being.”
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