ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – The defense for a man accused of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade is hinting a trial can be avoided with a plea if he escapes the death penalty.

Defense attorney Craig Weintraub addressed the death penalty issue Wednesday after 52-year-old Ariel Castro pleaded not guilty to hundreds of charges, including rape and kidnapping.

Weintraub says the defense is working to avoid an “unnecessary trial” involving the death penalty. Current charges involving an alleged forced miscarriage don’t include death penalty specifications, but the prosecutor says that’s under review.

The prosecutor’s office says it’s reviewing the defense comments.

A statement on the behalf of the three women says the arraignment day was “not easy” and the women are hoping for a just and prompt resolution.


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