Cleveland judge: Ariel Castro has plea deal

Associated Press
FILE-In this Wednesday, July 17, 2013, file photo shows Ariel Castro standing before a judge during his arraignment in Cleveland. Several media outlets in Cleveland reported Thursday, July 25, 2013, that a deal has been offered to resolve the case against 53-year-old Castro. The prosecutor’s office declined comment. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
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FILE-In this Wednesday, July 17, 2013, file photo shows Ariel Castro standing before a judge during his arraignment in Cleveland. Several media outlets in Cleveland reported Thursday, July 25, 2013, that a deal has been offered to resolve the case against 53-year-old Castro. The prosecutor’s office declined comment. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — A judge says a Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has a plea deal.

Ariel Castro is in court Friday. He had been charged in a 977-count indictment that could lead to the death penalty.

Castro is scheduled for trial Aug. 5 on allegations that include repeatedly restraining the women and punching and starving one woman until she had a miscarriage.

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.

They escaped Castro's house May 6 when one kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested within hours and has remained behind bars.

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