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Competency evaluation ordered for Ariel Castro

Competency evaluation ordered for Ariel Castro

(Cleveland) - A competency evaluation has been ordered for Ariel Castro, the man charged with holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for over a decade.

Judge Michael Russo ordered the evaluation to take place Thursday with Dr. Phillip Resnick, and results should be back in 10 days.

Castro kept his head down again as he has in previous court appearances.

The 52-year-old Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment, with even more charges still possible.

The defense wants County Prosecutor Tim McGinty to take the death penalty off the table to clear the way for a plea deal.

McGinty hasn't said if he'll pursue a death sentence for an alleged forced miscarriage involving one victim.

Castro was arrested after a woman broke through a door and yelled to neighbors for help last month.

Castro will appear in court next Wednesday at 8:45 a.m.

Castro's three victims issued statements through their lawyers.  “Michelle, Gina and Amanda understand there is a legal process," said James Wooley, attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.  "They have faith in the prosecutor and the court to deliver a just result."

"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,” said Kathy Joseph, attorney for Michelle Knight.

“Again they have faith in the process, but the simple, honest truth is they would like it to be over.  They want this whole thing behind them.  Any date set by which this may end is like light at the end of a tunnel," said Wooley.   

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(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel/Associated Press, all rights reserved.) 

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