Castro kidnapping case: Cleveland kidnapping suspect competent to stand trial

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   July 3, 2013 at 3:12 PM   |   Comments

July 3 (UPI) -- A judge ruled that Ariel Castro is competent to stand trial after a two-hour evaluation by court-appointed psychiatrists.

The psychologist found Castro competent and able to assist his attorneys in the defense.

Castro is charged with holding three Cleveland women hostage for more than 10 years. Castro had a child with one of the women during that time. Judge Michael Russo denied Castro's request to see that child, saying it would be "inappropriate."

Castro's adult children will be able to visit him in jail. He is held on $8 million bail. If convicted of the murder charge, Castro could face the death penalty.

Castro is charged with kidnapping Amanda Berry, then 14, Gina DeJesus, then 16, and Michelle Knight, then 20, between 2002 and 2004. He held them captive until Berry escaped his home May 6 and led police to the other women.

The 52-year-old has pleaded not guilty to 329 charges: Hundreds of counts of rape, kidnapping charges and one murder charge for allegedly beating one of his victims until she had a miscarriage. Prosecutors said they would add more charges for recent years of the women's captivity.

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