CLEVELAND (AP) - Unlike his last two court appearances, Ariel Castro was ordered by the judge on Wednesday to raise his head and open his eyes as the expanded list of charges against the 53-year-old was read in court.
The man accused of holding three women captive in his home for more than a decade has pleaded not guilty to 512 counts of kidnapping and 446 counts of rape.
“Nine-hundred and 77 counts in all, 512 counts of kidnapping, 446 counts of rape and two counts of aggravated murder for the deaths of unborn children Castro allegedly fathered then forced to miscarry,” the judge said.
Ariel Castro previously pleaded not guilty to charges contained in a 329-count indictment.
Castro entered a plea Wednesday on an expanded, 977-count indictment. The judge continued his bond at $8 million.
The earlier indictment reflected only part of the alleged crimes' time frame.
Castro’s attorneys have hinted he would plead guilty to all of the charges if the death penalty for the aggravated murder charges is taken off the table.
"With the goal in mind to try and resolve this case for the fairness of the women as well as the community so that everyone can put this behind them," Castro’s attorney Craig Weintraub said.
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.
He has been jailed since his May 6 arrest.
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