(Cleveland) - A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury has issued a 977-count indictment against Ariel Castro, Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced Friday.
The indictment covers the entire time period from August of 2002, when the first of three Cleveland women disappeared, until May of this year, when they were discovered in Castro’s Seymour Avenue house.
This superseding indictment adds to and encompasses the indictment returned in June that covered only the first four and a half years of the women’s captivity.
Castro still stands accused of two counts of aggravated murder – stemming from a single incident involving “the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy ,” as covered by Sections 2903.01 (a) and (B) of the Ohio Revised Code.
Castro is also charged with 512 counts of kidnapping, 446 counts of rape, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, six counts of felonious assault, three counts of child endangerment and one count of possessing criminal tools.
“Today’s indictment moves us closer to resolution of this gruesome case,’’ said McGinty. “Our investigation continues, as does our preparation for trial.”
Castro will be arraigned July 17 on the new indictment. This case will remain assigned to Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Russo.
The defendant has demanded that his trial take place within 90 days of arrest, which the law allows him to do. The state will be ready for the August 5 trial date set by Judge Russo.
In the new indictment, the state retains the option of adding a death penalty specification to the aggravated murder charges via another superseding indictment.
The prosecutor’s Capital Review Committee has not yet completed its evaluation of whether to seek the death penalty in this case.
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