Death of fetuses could mean murder charges, death penalty for Ca - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Death of fetuses could mean murder charges, death penalty for Castro

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Ariel Castro mug (SOURCE: Cleveland Police) Ariel Castro mug (SOURCE: Cleveland Police)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

It's difficult to separate one horror from another in Ariel Castro's house of horrors.  But if proven, the deaths of unborn babies carried by Michelle Knight could form the reason to seek murder charges and the death penalty for Castro.

"I fully intend to seek charges for each and every act of sexual violence, rape, each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault, all his attempted murders and each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty on Thursday.

The Ohio murder statute allows someone to be tried in a capital case for killing an unborn child.  That's because Ohio law gives personhood to fetuses, so Castro could be charged with five counts of murder given Michelle Knight's claims.

Of course, evidence would have to be found that she was actually pregnant. 

A high profile local case is a perfect example of how the law is applied: Bobby Cutts.

"It's about a lifetime of missed opportunities for Jessie and Chloe because in June Bobby Cutts chose to purposely take two lives," an attorney said in court.

Stark County Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Cutts, a Canton policeman, for the deaths of his girlfriend and her unborn daughter.

Cutts was found not guilty of aggravated murder, but the murder charges stuck.

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