Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters file
Ariel Castro, 52, sits with his head down between his attorneys Jaye Schlachet, right, and Craig Weintraub, left, during his pre-trial hearing on charges including rape, kidnapping and murder in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 19.
The three young women allegedly held captive for a decade in a Cleveland home where they were raped and tortured want to get the case to court as quickly as possible, their attorneys said on Wednesday, adding that they want “this whole thing behind them.”
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped Castro’s home on May 6 after Berry broke through a front door and screamed to neighbors for help.
“The longer this process lasts, the more painful it is for them. And the more sordid details of this horror that get disclosed in this process, the more painful it is for them,” attorney Kathy Joseph, who is representing Knight, said in a statement.
Ariel Castro, who is accused of keeping three women captive for a decade in his Cleveland home, appeared before Judge Michael J. Russo for a pre-trial hearing.
“Again, they have faith in the process, but the simple, honest truth is they would like it to be over,” said James Wooley, attorney for Berry and DeJesus. “They want this whole thing behind them. Any date by which this may end is like light at the end of a tunnel.”
Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to 329 charges including kidnapping and rape. On Wednesday, Judge Michael Russo in Cuyahoga County ordered Castro to undergo a competency evaluation regarding his ability to understand the trial proceedings and work with his attorney.
Castro spoke twice during the 10-minute pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, both times affirming that he understood the judge.
The judge also ruled at the hearing that there will be no blogging or other electronic media allowed from inside the courtroom. The next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for July 3.