Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Found Dead In Prison Cell - FOX 35 News Orlando

Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Found Dead In Prison Cell

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Convicted Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro is dead. Prison officials say he committed suicide and was found hanging in his cell Tuesday night.

Prison guards found the convicted rapist and kidnapper hanging just before 9:30 p.m. He was transported to Ohio State Medical Center, where he later pronounced dead.

They say he was in protective custody, kept away from other inmates, because of the high-profile case, but he was not on suicide watch. Inmates under suicide watch are under constant observation.

He was sentenced on Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts of kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder under a fetal homicide law for forcing at least one of his victims to have a miscarriage.

Castro's plea deal spared him from the death penalty.

He had only been in prison for a month when his body was found Tuesday night.

Michelle Knight, 32, along with 27-year-old Amanda Berry and 23-year-old Gina DeJesus were each kidnapped separately from 2002 to 2004 when they were between the ages of 14 and 20.

Also rescued on May 6, when the women broke free from Castro's home, was Berry's 6-year-old daughter that Castro fathered during her captivity.

Berry was the one who got away to a neighbor's house and called 9-1-1.

Knight spoke at Castro's sentencing, saying, "You took 11 years of my life away, and I have got it back. I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all of this that happened, but have to face hell for eternity. From this moment on, I will not let you define me or affect who I am."

"… The death penalty would be so much easier. You don't deserve that. You deserve to spend life in prison."

In a statement, Castro told the judge he was not a monster but instead was a man suffering from a porn addiction.

Castro's attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have a psychiatric examination done at the jail where he was before he was turned over to the state.

In an interview last month, his attorneys said their client fit the profile of sociopathic disorder, and they hoped researchers would study him further.

FOX 29's Stephanie Esposito has more details from the newsroom in this video report.

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