Castro could accept plea deal Friday - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Castro accepts plea deal of life sentence without parole

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CLEVELAND (WKOW) - A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

The plea deal will also spare the victims to have to testify at trial.

Ariel Castro is entered the plea Friday. In exchange, prosecutors said the 53-year-old Castro would be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.

Castro had been charged in a 977-count indictment.

He had been scheduled for trial Aug. 5 on allegations that include repeatedly restraining the women and punching and starving one woman until she had a miscarriage.

The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each said they had accepted a ride from Castro.

They escaped Castro's house May 6 when one kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested within hours and has remained behind bars.

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CLEVELAND (WKOW) -- The man accused of holding three Ohio women captive in his home for a decade could accept a plea deal Friday.

Ariel Castro was offered a deal Thursday. It includes a recommendation to keep him in prison for life.

Castro is charged with 977 counts including murder, based on suspicion he forcibly ended one of his captives' pregnancies. The murder charges could trigger the death penalty, but Castro's lawyers have said they'll only accept a plea deal that takes capital punishment off the table.

If no deal is reached, Castro's trial is set to begin August 5th.

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