Ariel Castro sentenced to life imprisonment plus 1,000 years

By Dave Andrusko

Ariel Castro

Ariel Castro

Convicted kidnapper, rapist, and murderer Ariel Castro was formally sentenced today to life imprisonment plus 1,000 years. Castro’s murder conviction was under a fetal homicide law, having “repeatedly starved and beat one of the victims each time she was pregnant, forcing her to miscarry five times,” the Associated Press reported. “He forced the same woman on threat of death to safely deliver the child he fathered with another victim on Christmas Day 2006,” reported Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Thomas J. Sheeran.

Last week Castro pled guilty to 937 counts and no chance of being paroled in exchange for not facing a death sentence.

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The sentencing hearing, in front of Judge Michael Russo, lasted about five hours. A Cuyahoga County court source told CNN that “Prosecutors want to make sure there’s a record going forward in case of a future appeal, should Castro want to try to get out of prison.” Prosecutors “also want the court and the public to understand the impact Castro’s actions had on his victims and the community.”

Michelle Knight was the only one of the three victims brutalized by Castro who spoke at the sentencing hearing. Her dramatic testimony came after Castro told the shocked courtroom there was “a lot of harmony” in the house where he kidnapped, shackled, and abused Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Knight.

The women escaped May 6 after Berry kicked out the door panel. The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16, and 20 years old, respectively.

In a sentencing memorandum, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said that while Castro “admits his disgusting and inhuman conduct,” he still “remains remorseless for his actions.”

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