Not guilty plea entered for suspected kidnapper Ariel Castro
Ariel Castro ordered to look at judge during Wednesday's court hearing
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
The Cleveland man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them captive for years inside his west side home was arraigned on hundreds of new charges Wednesday.
As in past court appearances, Ariel Castro entered the courtroom with his head lowered and avoided eye contact. But on Wednesday, the judge ordered Castro to lift his head and look at her while she reviewed a summary of the new charges. Castro did as he was told.
Defense attorneys then entered a not guilty plea to the 977-count indictment filed against Castro last week.
The new indictment covers the entire time period from August 2002, when the first of the three women disappeared, until May of this year. The original indictment covered only the first four and a half years of the women's captivity.
The charges include aggravated murder stemming from the death of an unborn child of one of the women. That victim says Castro forced her to lose multiple babies after she got pregnant.
Last Thursday, a County Prosecutor Committee met to discuss whether Castro should get the death penalty. That still remains an option.
Castro is accused of holding Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus captive in his Seymour Avenue house for years before they were rescued on May 6.
Berry gave birth to his daughter while in captivity.
Castro's bond remains at $8M and he is to avoid contact with the victims.