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Castro to be arraigned Wednesday

Castro to be arraigned Wednesday

(Cleveland) - Ariel Castro will be arraigned Wednesday morning. It will be via video from the jail.

A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury Friday returned a 329-count indictment against the man suspected of holding three women hostage for about a decade.

The indictments cover only the period from August of 2002, when the first of the three women discovered in his Seymour Avenue house last month disappeared, until February of 2007.

Castro was indicted for one act of aggravated murder - for purposely and with prior calculation and design causing the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.

He was also indicted on 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools.

A trial judge will be assigned during the arraignment.

“Today’s indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process,’’ McGinty said Friday. “Our investigation continues, and we will present our findings to the grand jury.’’

When the indictment process is complete, the County Prosecutor’s Capital Review Committee will consider whether this case is appropriate to attach a death penalty specification.

Jim Wooley, attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and Kathy Joseph, counsel for  Michelle Knight issued a statement, "We have a great legal system plus confidence and faith in the prosecutor’s office and its decisions. Now, we need to stand back and let the judicial process unfold."

The attorney for Ariel Castro reportedly issued a statement saying that he had not read the indictment, but was pleased that Prosecutor McGinty had not rushed into a decision to seek the death penalty.

 Click here to read the indictment

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