Ariel Castro sentenced to life in prison without parole

3:39 PM, Aug 1, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Photo Gallery: Slideshow | Ariel Castro court appearances

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight found alive

Complete Coverage - Click Here

Crime & Punishment: Castro Sentenced

The Evidence: Prosecutor's Case Photos (PDF)

Survivor Speaks: “Your hell is only beginning”

Turning the Tables: Castro hears from survivors in court

Castro Speaks: “I’m not a monster”

Word Cloud: Castro’s statement

Read: Castro’s Statement

Inside the House: FBI says house became a cage

Photos: Castro evidence

Photos: See Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus pictures

Photos: Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry come home

Photos: Ariel Castro in court

Photos: Decade in isolation

The house: Photos show backyard at Castro’s house

The deal:  Castro’s plea agreement

Son speaks: Ariel Castro's son says dad's punishment fits

Enjoying freedom: Amanda Berry makes surprise public appearance

 Families approve deal: Families pleased with Castro plea deal

 Justice served: Prosecutor says Castro plea deal is justice

 Reign of terror ends: Ariel Castro pleads guilty

 House’s future: Castro home headed for wrecking ball?

 Viral Video: Amanda, Gina and Michelle release thank-you video

Judge denies request: Castro denied request to see Amanda Berry’s child

Look up: Judge orders Castro to open his eyes in court 




Psychic responds: Sylvia Browne makes statement on Amanda Berry case

Officer’s story: Police recount finding Amanda, Gina, and Michelle

Investigator: How Castro spends his time behind bars

Investigator: Castro says he loves his daughter

911 Call: Help me I'm Amanda Berry

Dispatch tapes: "We found them!"

How to help: Charitable fund set up for missing girls

Police audio: Police audio reveals how officers found women

DeJesus homecoming: Gina gives a thumbs up

Amanda Berry homecoming: Family thanks community

Charles Ramsey: Neighbor tells how he helped rescue Amanda Berry

Charles Ramsey: Listen to 911 call that led to Amanda Berry rescue

Police: Amanda is the real hero here




CLEVELAND --  Ariel Castro has been sentenced to life in prison without parole plus an additional 1,000 years.

Judge Michael Russo formally sentenced Castro following a sentencing hearing that lasted several hours.

A look at the testimony from the sentencing hearing for Ariel Castro.

1:00 p.m.: Judge Russo begin sentencing.  Describes Castro as an extreme narcissist.  He says if he was a victim of sex abuse as he claims, he could have sought help.  "You don't deserve to be out in our community.  You're too dangerous."  Judge Russo finds consecutive sentences are warranted.  "I don't know what the endgame was here."  Judge Russo gives him life without parole plus 1,000 years.  He fines Castro $100,000. Castro also forfeits his house and more than $22,000 in money.

12:40 p.m. Castro makes a statement.  He says he is not a monster.  He claims sex in the house was consensual.  He hopes people can forgive him.

12:27 p.m.: Prosecutor Tim McGinty calls Castro a "master manipulator."  Says Castro takes no responsibility and blames the victims for what happened.  McGinty says Castro doesn't believe he did anything wrong and says he would do it all over again if given the chance.  "This man deserves as many years as this court can possibly give him."

12:14 p.m: Michelle Knight makes statement.  "I was so alone.  I worried about what would happen to me and the other girls every day. ... Years turned into eternity.  He told me, my family didn't care about me.  ... No one should ever have to go through what I went through.  Gina was my teammate.  .... My friendship with her is the only thing good to come out of this situation. ... We said one day we would make it out alive and we did.  .... I spent 11 years in hell, your hell is just beginning.  ... From this moment, I will not let you define me. .... I will live on, you will die a little every day. ... The death penalty would be easier [for Castro.]

12:10 p.m.: Beth Serrano, Amanda's sister speaks on her behalf.

12:07 p.m.: Sylvia Colon, cousin, speaks on behalf of Gina DeJesus.  "Today we will close this chapter in our lives."  Statement says Gina is a survivor not a victim.

12:05 p.m.: After a break, court is back in session.  Michelle Knight is in the courtroom.  The other two women will be giving impact statements through family members.

11:27 a.m.: Prosecution calls final witness Dr. Frank Ochberg to discuss Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Stockholm Syndrome.  He says trauma suffered by the women may be with them their entire lives.  Says they were treated as animals.  He calls the women courageous.  He talks about how Michelle Knight was able to care for herself and the younger women while held hostage and deprived of their families.

He says the women's trauma are the equivalent of life sentences and will never be free of the damage. 

11:16 a.m: Dr. Greg Saathoff a forensic psychologist testifies about Castro's patterns and how he led a double life. He discusses Castro's pattern for selecting victims.  Using the same street.  The women were of similar stature and trusting, believing his ruses for luring them into his car and house. 

He says  he has no doubt Castro would return to his behaviors if ever allowed out on the street again.

11:06 a.m.: Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Jacobson takes the stands to talk about interviews with Ariel Castro.  He says he was forthcoming during the interrogation.  He says Castro used the term abduction to refer how he took the girls and referred to himself as a sexual offender.

Asked why he abducted young girls, Castro says it was to satisfy his sexual needs. He characterizes himself as a criminal and knew what he was doing was wrong.

When asked about a gun in his possession, Castro said he showed the gun to the victims as a form of control.  The women claim he used it to play Russian Roulette.  Castro said he didn't  recall that but said if the women said it happened, it happened.

On the day of Gina's abduction, Castro told police, "I did a cold-blooded thing.  I drove past my daughter to get to Gina."

10:29 a.m.:  FBI Special Agent Andrew Burke takes the stand on the working relationship between the FBI and CPD during the time the women were missing.  He discusses the numerous searches and extensive investigation into the disappearances.

Agent Burke discusses a model of the house at 2207 Seymour where the women were held.

He describes his visits to the actual home as "surreal." He gave testimony how the entire home had been rigged with a makeshift alert system using modified alarm clocks.  Curtains and bed sheets were used to cordon off rooms and furniture used to block passageway through the house.

The prosecution shows a photo of room that appears to have toys inside hit.  The agent says this is the room where Amanda Berry and her daughter spent the bulk of their time in. The child was born in 2006.

There is a hole in the door to the room which was, according to the FBI, cut for ventilation.  The windows in the room had been boarded up from the inside.

A photo is then shown of a small adjoining room where Gina and Michelle were kept.  The windows in this room were also boarded up with thick wooden panels.

Agent Burke goes through a series of photographs showing the women from the day they were missing through the present.  He says the recovery of the survivors in just three months is amazing.

Craig Weintraub cross-examines Agent Burke about a letter written by Castro.

10:24 a.m.: Joshua Barr with BCI testifies about a .357 Magnum gun found at the home as well as the chains used to restrain the women.

10:19 a.m.: Craig Weintraub cross-examines Det. Andy Harasimchuk regarding Michelle Knight's claims Castro caused her to miscarry her pregnancies while held captive.

10:05 a.m.: Det. Andy Harasimchuk. CPD Sex Crimes Unit takes the stand.  He talks about initial interview with Michelle Knight who disappeared while lost trying to find a social worker.  She was in a store asking for directions and Ariel Castro approached her and told her he could take her where she wanted to go.  Detective says Knight knew Castro's daughter and that Castro lured her into his home with a promise of a puppy for her son.  She is then tied up with an electrical cord for hours.

Later she was chained up in the basement with a motorcycle helmet placed on her head.  She is then sexually assaulted by Castro.

Knight told detectives she had been pregnant several times during her captivity.  She says Castro terminated the pregnancies by starving her, feeding her rotten food and kicking and punching her.

Det. Harasimchuk then discussed the night Amanda Berry was taken.  Amanda told detectives she recalls being passed by a van and thinking she recognized a woman in the van so she smiled.  The van turned around and approached Amanda.  Castro asked her if she knew his son and daughter and she answered yes.  Castro took her back to his house where he told Amanda his daughter was inside.  She asked to be taken home and then tried to run away.

Because the room was dark, Amanda ran into a closet and sexually assaulted her.  He then took her into the basement where she was chained up.

Berry told police that she gave birth during her captivity and that neither she nor the girl were given any medical care. 

The detective then talked about the abduction of Gina DeJesus who was taken while walking home from school.  Castro lured her to the house with a promise of seeing his daughter who Gina knew.

Gina became uncomfortable in the home and asked to be taken home.  She was sexually assaulted and chained in the basement.

On the night of the rescue, Gina told police that she tried to keep quiet fearing it was a trap.

10 a.m.: Dr. Gerald Maloney an Emergency Room doctor from Metro then testified about the condition of the women on the night of May 6. He described the women as distraught and that all the women told doctors they had been held against their will for years and sexually assaulted.

9:45 a.m: The first to take the stand was Patrolwoman Barbara Jordan. She was one of the first responders to arrive at 2207 Seymour Avenue the night of May 6.

She talked about how dark the home was and described a dark, heavy curtain that was stretched across the top of the stairs.

Patrolwoman Jordan told the court about finding Gina DeJesus and how thin and tiny she was, so much so, Patrolwoman Jordan thought it was a small child.
She testified about Amanda Berry telling her about the birth of her daughter inside a pool inside the home and how neither received medical treatment.

9:15 a.m.: The sentencing hearing for Ariel Castro began with his attorney's objecting to the prosecution's plan to call numerous witnesses and present evidence during the proceeding.

Attorney Craig Weintraub argued before the court that other than statements by the victims or their designed that no other witnesses should be called.

Weintraub argued that Castro had pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts and never disputed any of the facts of the case. He argued it was "inappropriate to share to the world," the details of what happened to the three women inside Castro's Seymour Avenue home unless the survivors chose to make their story public.

Castro has agreed to accept a prison term of life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years. He pleaded guilty on July 26 to holding Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight captive for more than 10 years.

Prosecutors argued that the community had the right to know what happened and that the evidence presented would support the plea agreement and the sentence.

Judge Michael Russo said he would allow testimony and information from appropriate sources that would towards supporting the sentence handed out.


Most Watched Videos