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Plea deal means life for Cleveland kidnapper

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Accused kidnapper Ariel Castro is accepting a plea deal that will allow him to avoid the death penalty in exchange for life in prison.

The man accused of abducting three women, keeping them captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade and raping them repeatedly agreed to the plea in a Cleveland courtroom this morning.

The deal means Castro won’t stand trial, sparing his victims from having to
relive their years of captivity on the witness stand.

Meanwhile, the house where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held captive will be torn down.

Castro, 53, originally pleaded not guilty to nearly 1,000 counts of kidnap, rape and other crimes. His indictment includes two counts of aggravated murder related to accusations he punched and starved one of the women until she miscarried.

The house where Castro allegedly imprisoned the women until they escaped to freedom in May will be torn down.

Cuyahoga County Land Bank officials say they would demolish the Seymour Avenue house once the criminal case is over.

The property will be used as a neighborhood park or other space to benefit the neighborhood.

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