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Puerto Rican Castro Kills Self

Castro pleaded guilty last week to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault. Photograph: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

News Americas, CLEVELAND, Ohio, Weds. Sept. 4, 2013: Rather than face a life time in prison, Puerto Rican national, Ariel Castro, the man who had been sentenced for holding three Cleveland women captive for roughly a decade, hanged himself in in his cell Tuesday night, Ohio prison officials said.

Castro, 53, was discovered at 9:20 p.m. at the Ohio Correctional Reception Center in Orient, according to the Ohio Department of Corrections. Prison medical staffers began performing life-saving measures, and Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:52.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape. He had been housed in protective custody in a cell by himself, and guards are required to make rounds every 30 minutes, a corrections department statement said.

Judge Michael Russo told the kidnapper last month there was no place in the world for his brand of criminal.

Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including murder and kidnapping, in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table.

The charges stem from his kidnapping, rape and assault of Michelle Knight, Georgina DeJesus and Amanda Berry.

Castro is the father of Berry’s 6-year-old daughter, DNA tests confirmed.Castro attorney Craig Weintraub said more precautions against a possible suicide should have been taken.

Castro’s attorneys had requested permission for an independent forensic psychologist to evaluate their client, but were denied by officials, he said.

“I was stunned,” Weintraub told CNN affiliate WKYC. “I think it’s so unusual for a prisoner who is in the system for only 30 days to be found dead in a cell.”
If Castro was believed to be suicidal, he should have been under stricter protection, he said.

Some will see his death as “a happy ending to this story, and a quick ending and justifiable,” Weintraub said. “But we’re in a civilized society and no one should really be celebrating this.”