The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 10, 2013

Ohio man's ex-relatives say he is a 'monster'

(Continued)

One day, Figueroa was returning home with her arms full of groceries when Castro jumped into the doorway with the mannequin, frightening her so badly that she fell backward and smashed her head on the pavement, Elida Caraballo said.

Prosecutors said Thursday they may seek the death penalty against Castro as police charged that he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the stomach. The allegations were contained in a police report that also said another one of the women, Amanda Berry, was forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said his office will decide whether to bring aggravated murder charges, punishable by death, in connection with the pregnancies that were terminated by force. McGinty said Castro will be charged for every act of sexual violence, assault and other crimes committed against the women, suggesting the counts could number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

Castro, 52, is being held on $8 million bail under a suicide watch in jail, where he is charged with rape and kidnapping.

"Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct," McGinty said. "The reality is we still have brutal criminals in our midst who have no respect for the rule of law or human life."

A sample of Castro's DNA was delivered to state crime investigators Thursday afternoon and scientists are rushing to process it and enter it into a national database to see if it links him to other crimes, Lisa Peterson Hackley, spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, confirmed in an email Friday.

The three women said Castro chained them up in the basement but eventually let them live on the home's second floor. Each woman told a similar story about being abducted after accepting a ride from him.

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