Judge Orders Castro to ‘Open Eyes’ in Court

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CLEVELAND -- A judge ordered Ariel Castro to "open his eyes" and look at her during his arraignment Wednesday morning in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

She repeated the request several times.  At one point, Castro said, "I'm trying."

As expected the 53-year-old pleaded not guilty to the 648 additional charges.

Castro is accused of kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.  The woman escaped from his Seymour Avenue home on May 6.

Joseph Frolik, a spokesman with the prosecutor's office, said the county's capital review committee is still considering possible death penalty charges against Castro.

Defense attorneys told Fox 8's Peggy Sinkovich they are looking forward to a resolution in the case but wouldn't say if Castro wants a plea deal.

The defense does not plan to ask for the Aug. 5 trial to be moved. His next pretrial is set for July 24.

Meanwhile, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine says the Ariel Castro case is one of the largest his agency has dealt with evidence wise.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the Bureau of Criminal Identification Headquarters in Richfield, Dewine said BCI labs tested nearly 100 items for DNA evidence.

The items came from Castro’s house, from cars, and from the garage.

“We’re not done,” Dewine said. “We have 63 pieces of evidence that have been prioritized by the prosecuting attorney that are being tested.”

Dewine says his office is willing to help in any way possible and is working closely with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

*Get continuing coverage on this story here*

Jessica Dabrowski July 17, 201311:13 am

Bond remained at $8 million.

Jessica Dabrowski July 17, 201311:12 am

Attorney enters not guilty plea for Castro.

Jessica Dabrowski July 17, 201311:07 am

Judge explains rights to Castro.

Jessica Dabrowski July 17, 201311:06 am

Ariel Castro enters court. Judge asks him to look at her. She tells him to open his eyes.

Jessica Dabrowski July 17, 201311:03 am

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the courtroom.