Ariel Castro Pleads Not Guilty

Faces more than 300 counts, including murder, rape, kidnapping
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 8:28 AM CDT
Ariel Castro Pleads Not Guilty
Ariel Castro has pleaded guilty today to charges of rape, murder, and kidnapping.   (AP Photo/Cuyahoga County Jail)

Ariel Castro pleaded not guilty to more than 300 counts this morning, a raft of charges that included two counts of aggravated murder, 139 counts of rape, and 177 counts of kidnapping. The murder charges are tied to his termination of one of the women's pregnancies. Castro was silent during the proceedings, which lasted about a minute, reports the AP. It notes the indictment only covers the period from August 2002 to February 2007.

Among the indictment's revelations: In addition to chaining the women in the basement, he allegedly chained them to a bedroom heater and the inside of a van. One of the women did attempt an escape; he allegedly choked her using a vacuum cord. Castro's $8 million bail was continued, and his lawyers are to make a statement later this morning. Click for more on the case. (More Ariel Castro stories.)

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