Madison, 35, appeared in court to hear a judge announce three aggravated murder charges and three kidnapping charges against him. The case was transferred to the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, courts, WKYC-TV, Cleveland, reported.
Bond was set at $6 million, or $1 million per count.
The charges come after three bodies were discovered in the same East Cleveland neighborhood, within 100 yards of each other, on Friday and Saturday. The medical examiner's office said each body was decomposed and wrapped in plastic.
Earlier Monday, police said Madison had confessed to one of the killings, WKYC-TV said.
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Madison, a convicted sex offender, was influenced by Anthony Sowell, a death row inmate arrested in 2009 and convicted of killing 11 women and burying them in and around his Cleveland home.
Madison "said some things in questioning that led us to believe he was influenced by Sowell," Norton told the newspaper.
Eric Wilson, 40, who said he's known Madison since high school, was generally "kind of quiet" and "never created a conversation."
"But if you talked to him too long he'd say some kind of demented things," Wilson said, such as, "He hated women."