CLEVELAND – Cleveland kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro is likely to face additional criminal charges including the death penalty as prosecutor prepare a superseding indictment.
Castro appeared in a Cuyahoga County courtroom Wednesday on rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder charges related to the 10-year ordeal of three Cleveland women who escaped from his Seymour Avenue home last May.
Prosecutors declined comment on when additional charges would be filed, but they are likely to include criminal charges covering the period from March 2007 through May 2013.
Castro has already been charged with 329 counts covering Aug. 22, 2002 through Feb., 28, 2007.
Chief among new criminal charges would be the so-called “death penalty specification.”
Under Ohio law, the death penalty can be used in certain crimes, including those where “the offense was committed while the offender was committing or attempting to commit kidnapping and rape”.
The charge would come in connection to the beating of Michelle Knight when she was pregnant and causing the death of the child she was carrying.
The death penalty charge is currently being reviewed y a special review board of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
A superseding indictment would likely delay a trial date for Castro and require yet another arraignment. It could also mean moving the case to another courtroom and judge.