NPR : News

Accused Cleveland Kidnapper Is Ruled Competent For Trial

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping and raping three women while he held them prisoner in his house for about 10 years, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial. The finding comes one week after a Cleveland judge ordered Castro to undergo an evaluation.

The results of that analysis were presented at a court hearing this morning.

At the same hearing, Castro, 52, also asked Judge Michael Russo to allow him to have "contact with a child he fathered with one of the three women he is accused of holding captive for more than a decade in his Cleveland home," as Cleveland's Plain Dealer reports.

The judge rejected the request, saying such contact would be inappropriate.

Castro has pleaded not guilty to 329 counts on charges including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder, which is related to the alleged termination of a pregnancy. Those accusations cover a period up to 2007; more charges against Castro may be pending.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, the three women Castro is accused of holding prisoner, were rescued in May. Castro allegedly kidnapped them in separate incidents between 2002 and 2004.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty reportedly plans to seek the death penalty in Castro's trial, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in early August.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Obama Posts Comment On 'Humans Of New York' Photo Of Iranian Father And Son

A Facebook post on the popular photo blog caught the eye of the president, who called it "inspirational."
NPR

Why Are We Drawn To Heirloom Fruits And Veggies? They're 'Edible Memory'

Heirloom foods have grown in popularity, making their way into gardens, farms, farmers markets and restaurants. A sociologist says they offer a powerful emotional and physical connection to the past.
NPR

Biden's Latest Signal He Won't Run For President

The vice president's allies may be talking up a presidential bid, but recently Biden has made clear he's still very much reeling from the death of his son and isn't emotionally ready yet.
NPR

New Cellphone Surveillance Safeguards Imposed On Federal Law Enforcement

Federal law enforcement officials will be routinely required to get a search warrant before using secretive and intrusive cellphone-tracking technology under a new Justice Department policy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.