Ohio 'kidnapper' not guilty plea

Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to holding three women captive in his home in Ohio for a decade and raping them.

Ariel Castro plea 'to avoid unnecessary murder trial'

Ariel Castro's lawyer Craig Weintraub made a brief statement after his client entered a plea of not guilty saying it was the first step in the legal process.

"Although certain charges in the indictment cannot be disputed a not-guilty plea [..] requires the prosecutor continue to evaluate the case to determine whether [...] evidence can actually support an aggravated murder conviction for the death of a foetus and whether the death penalty is warranted."

A pretrial hearing was set for June 19.

Ariel Castro pleads not guilty to more than 300 charges

The Ohio man accused of imprisoning three young women in his home in Cleveland for more than a decade has pleaded not guilty to more than 300 charges, including rape, kidnapping and murder.

Former school bus driver Castro faces charges in connection with the imprisonment of Gina De Jesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry, who were freed from his house on May 6.

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