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Both sides ready for August trial despite discussion of possible Castro plea

Ariel Castro in court Wednesday Ariel Castro in court Wednesday

The Cleveland man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them captive for years inside his west side home was back in court on Wednesday morning.

Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to 977 charges, including aggravated murder. The charge stems from the death of an unborn child of one of the victims. That victim says Castro forced her to lose multiple babies after she got pregnant.

Castro is accused of holding Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus captive in his Seymour Avenue house for years before they were rescued on May 6. Berry gave birth to his daughter while in captivity.

On Wednesday, Castro's defense team claimed they have yet to get all of the BCI evidence pertaining the case. 19 Action News has learned the defense team has been given 4,000 documents by prosecutors. Prosecutor McGinty disputed the claims, saying the defense has been give access to all evidence and other facts. He also said he is still waiting on some reports from the lab.

The judge did note that a possible plea deal has been discussed, but both the prosecutor and defense said they were ready to go to trial.

A deal would avoid a lengthy trial and spare the victims from having to face Castro in court.

To the defense, the obvious benefit they are after in any deal is sparing Castro's life. They want to keep him off death row.

Trial is slated to start on August 5. 19 Action News has learned jurors have already been summoned.

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