Police: Amanda Berry visits Seymour house before Castro sentencing

12:06 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
  • Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
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CLEVELAND -- On Thursday we may hear some of the first details about what happened inside 2207 Seymour Avenue as Ariel Castro is sentenced for his crimes.

Castro pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and other crimes for a total of 937 charges Friday, agreeing to a minimum sentence of life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years time.

His sentencing hearing is likely to be a window into what a trial might have looked like, a chance for both sides to present to Judge Michael Russo what they believe are the facts and determining factors in this case.

Read Castro plea agreement

"You have not seen the evidence yet of what took place. We'll make a presentation on that next Thursday," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, in a news conference following the plea hearing.

McGinty says the state will call witnesses to the stand to explain Stockholm Syndrome and other coping mechanisms that allowed the women to survive captivity.

Detectives will also testify on some of the horrors they faced inside.

"He's a manipulator. He has no remorse, and we will elaborate on that at the sentencing," said McGinty.

Castro himself seemed to be searching for a chance to explain Friday.

"My addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind," he told the court. "I would like to state that I was also a victim as a child and it just kept going," he said, before Judge Russo interrupted him.

"That's certainly something you can bring up at your sentencing hearing," said Russo.

Castro, his family members or other defense witnesses are likely to discuss the alleged abuse and sexual addictions he mentioned out of turn. His victims get that same chance to speak.

But sources close to the family of Gina DeJesus tell us that neither she nor Amanda Berry or Michelle Knight is likely to be in the courtroom.

Prosecutors or a victim's advocate can deliver a statement on behalf of the victims, if they so choose.

An officer on duty on Seymour Avenue told Channel 3 News Amanda Berry visited the house Tuesday afternoon, spending about 15 minutes outside talking to neighbors.

The house is scheduled to be demolished "as soon as possible," according to McGinty, once it's in the hands of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.

One thing is certain: theree's no set witness list required to be presented to the court before the sentencing begins. Who will or won't be appearing could be changing even throughout the day on Thursday.

Russo expects a long day of evidence from both parties. Channel 3 News will have gavel-to-gavel coverage on air and on wkyc.com beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday.


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