10:54 PM EDT 10/06/2014

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Ariel Castro Gets Life Without Parole Plus 1,000 Years in Ohio Kidnapping Case

Ariel Castro Gets Life Without Parole, Plus 1,000 Years, in Plea Deal

Originally posted 07/26/2013 11:10AM

A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Ariel Castro entered the new plea Friday. In exchange, prosecutors said the 53-year-old Castro would be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.

Castro had been charged in a 977-count indictment.

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Credit: Daily Mail
Charles Ramsey Says Cleveland Kidnapping Notoriety Left Him 'Broke'

Charles Ramsey Says Cleveland Kidnapping Notoriety Left Him 'Broke'

Originally posted 07/16/2013 02:30PM

Charles Ramsey says that helping to rescue three women who were allegedly held captive for a decade has backfired financially.

"I had a job, I was paying rent and I had no bills. I was trying to accumulate some [savings]," he told the Daily Mail. "Now I can't get a job," he says, adding he can't hold down work due to the attention he receives.

"I'm going to try to get a job. Just give me a job. I'll take a picture with you, fine," he says, adding that he'd like to work in food services, perhaps as a cook. "Just pay me, that's all. I'm borrowing money from my relatives."

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Cleveland Kidnap Survivors: Hugs and Tears at their Reunion

Cleveland Kidnap Survivors: Inside Their Emotional Reunion

Originally posted 07/10/2013 08:00AM

When Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight reunited July 2 to record a video thanking supporters, they could not hold back their emotions.

"They cried and hugged. They have genuine happiness to be alive, to be out there, to just BE," Chris Kelly, the lawyer managing the Cleveland Courage Fund on behalf of the women, says in this week's PEOPLE.

In the video that posted Tuesday on YouTube, they thank family, friends and complete strangers for the outpouring of support they've received since escaping alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro after a decade in captivity. Castro has pleaded not guilty to 329 counts including 139 charges of rape.

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Cleveland Kidnapping Survivors Release 'Thank You' Video

Originally posted 07/09/2013 06:00AM



With smiles and determined confidence, the three Cleveland women who survived 10 years in captivity released a joint video Tuesday to warmly thank their supporters and show how far they've come in the two months since their dramatic and unexpected rescue.

"I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends. It's been unbelievable," said Amanda Berry, now 27.

"I may have been through hell and back," said Michelle Knight, at 32 the oldest of the trio, "but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face, and with my head held high, and my feet firmly on the ground."

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Ariel Castro Pleads Not Guilty in Ohio Kidnapping Case

Ariel Castro Pleads Not Guilty to Hundreds of Charges, Including Rape and Kidnapping

Originally posted 06/12/2013 09:45AM

A man accused of holding Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade pleaded not guilty Wednesday to hundreds of charges, including rape and kidnapping.

Ariel Castro is charged with kidnapping the three women and keeping them – sometimes restrained in chains – along with a 6-year-old girl he fathered with one of the women.

Castro, 52, didn't speak during the arraignment, which lasted less than a minute. He stood motionless, dressed in an orange prison outfit, and looked toward the floor as the plea was entered.

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Ariel Castro Charged with Rape, Kidnapping and Murder in Ohio Abductions

Ariel Castro Charged with Rape, Kidnapping and Murder in Ohio Abductions

Originally posted 06/07/2013 06:45PM

A man accused of holding three women captive in his home for a decade has been indicted on 329 charges including kidnapping, rape and murder for allegedly causing an abortion.

A Cuyahoga County, Ohio, grand jury returned the indictment Friday against Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver fired last fall.

"Today’s indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process," said County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty. "Our investigation continues, and we will present our findings to the grand jury."

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Credit: Reuters/Landov (3)
How Cleveland Kidnapping Survivors Bonded Like Sisters

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight 'Are Like Sisters'

Originally posted 05/17/2013 01:00PM

Though each was young and vulnerable, all three of Ariel Castro's alleged kidnap victims came armed with strengths that would help them endure the years of horror ahead.

Gina DeJesus, 14, had the buoyancy and affection of a well-loved child who knew that home and family were worth fighting for. Strong-willed Amanda Berry, 16, was, to her family, “the glue that kept everyone calm," says childhood friend Lisha Jacome, who lived briefly in the Berry home.

A frequent babysitter for her sister's two daughters, Berry had child-care skills when she bore Castro's child in 2007. For that birth Castro designated his oldest captive, Michelle Knight, as midwife – and threatened to kill her if the baby died. The mother of a 2-year-old son when she was kidnapped at age 21, Knight not only had experienced childbirth, she had helped perform a delivery of the family dog's puppies as a kid.

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Credit: Cleveland Police Department/AP
Ariel Castro to Plead Not Guilty: His Lawyers Explain Why

Ariel Castro to Plead Not Guilty: His Lawyers Explain Why

Originally posted 05/15/2013 08:25AM

Ariel Castro, who is facing kidnapping and rape charges over the alleged abduction of three Cleveland women, will plead not guilty, his lawyers say.

"The initial portrayal of him is one of a quote 'monster,' and that is not the impression that I got," one of his two attorneys, Craig Weintraub, said in an interview that aired on Wednesday's Today show.

Added Castro's co-counsel, attorney Jaye Schlachet: "He is a human being, but what is offensive is that the women and the media want to demonize this man before they know the whole story, and I think it's unfair and not equitable."

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Amanda Berry Before Abduction: A 'Girly Girl' Who Loved Fashion

Amanda Berry's Cousin Remembers Little Girl Who Loved Eminem, Fashion Design

Originally posted 05/13/2013 03:30PM

To those who have heard her story, Amanda Berry is the girl who disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003. She's the girl who was held captive with two others near downtown Cleveland for about 10 years until she miraculously escaped last week, proclaiming, "I'm free now."

But who was she before she vanished and was held captive in the home of alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro?

Her cousin, Tina Miller, tells PEOPLE about a girl with Eminem posters hanging in her bedroom and dreams of being a fashion designer. She's Mandy. She's hyper-organized, close to her nieces and she loved the movie 8 Mile and its star, Eminem.

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Credit: Tony Dejak/AP
Ariel Castro's Brothers: 'Maybe He Wanted to Be Caught'

Ariel Castro's Brothers: 'Maybe He Wanted to Be Caught'

Originally posted 05/13/2013 07:05AM

Ariel Castro's two brothers have disowned and distanced themselves from their sibling, whom they consider "a monster" who should rot in jail following his arrest last week on accusations of kidnapping and holding three young women captive in his grimy Cleveland home for up to a decade until their rescue last Monday.

"I had nothing to do with this, and I don't know how my brother got away with it for so many years," Pedro Castro, 54, in a joint interview with his brother Onil Castro, 50, conducted by CNN's Martin Savidge this weekend.

Initially believed to be potential suspects, Pedro and Onil were arrested last week and then released when authorities said the brothers had no involvement in the kidnappings. Their 52-year-old middle brother, remains in a Cleveland jail on $8 million bond, charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.

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