Appearing in a Cleveland courtroom, Ariel Castro plead not guilty to 329 counts of kidnapping, murder and rape. The 52-year-old Castro is accused of holding Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus hostage in his home for a decade, subjecting them to brutal torture.

Following the hearing, Castro's attorney Craig Weintraub said he hoped the prosecution and defense could reach an agreement to avoid trial and the death penalty. Weintraub also pleaded with the judge to drop the aggravated murder charge that stems from Castro causing one of the victim's to miscarry.

The 32-year-old Knight says Castro impregnated her five times, but punched her in the stomach until she lost the children. Berry, 27, also became pregnant and had a daughternow 6-years-oldby Castro. The three women and the little girl were rescued with the help of Charles Ramsey on May 6.

[via ABC News]

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