Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man accused of imprisoning and raping three women for a decade, pleaded guilty Friday and agreed to serve life without parole — sparing the city an agonizing trial and perhaps the women from reliving their nightmare on the witness stand.
Under a plea agreement outlined in court, Castro agreed to a life sentence plus 1,000 years. The deal allows him to avoid the death penalty and forestalls a trial that was scheduled to start in two weeks.
“I knew I was going to get pretty much the book thrown at me,” Castro told Judge Michael J. Russo of Cuyahoga County court in Ohio. Asked whether he knew that he was forfeiting any hope of getting out of prison before he dies, Castro said: “I don’t think there’s any reason.”