CLEVELAND -- Just moments after Ariel Castro entered guilty pleas in a deal that would leave him with a life sentence without the possibility of parole, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor underscored exactly what that meant.
“He’s never coming out (of prison) except nailed in a box or in an ash can,” Tim McGinty said. “And that’s justice.”
In pleading guilty on Friday to charges including rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder, Castro admitted to holding three young women captive in his Seymour Avenue home for about a decade.
On top of the life sentence, an extra 1,000 years has been recommended. Castro will forfeit his house and roughly $22,000 which will be used to demolish the structure.
“The only thing (Castro will have) is the orange jumper, that’s it. And he’s not going to get any money. We’re going to request restitution and court cost and fines,” McGinty said.
He vowed to show people Castro’s true colors when the evidence is presented at the sentencing.
“He’s a coward and he’s in his own world. He has no remorse and regret. He feels sorry (for himself only),” McGinty said.
When speaking of survivors Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, McGinty took a tone of admiration.
The women escaped in May when Berry got the attention of neighbors who helped to break down Castro's door.
“I expect there will be representation from all three (at the sentencing). They have something to say. These are brave and strong women. They have inspired (all of us) and they’ll continue to inspire us. They have a lot to say and they’ve taught us all a lot. They taught us strength and courage,” McGinty said.
He also offered words of appreciation to many parties.
“We thank the community for never giving up. We thank (the survivors’) families, especially, for never giving up,” McGinty said.
The families held countless vigils and events to keep their loved ones in the headlines and in the public's hearts and minds.
McGinty noted the plea deal avoided a trial and lengthy appeals process that would have taken years. For that reason, several younger members were selected for the prosecution team.
“We wanted someone who would be around in 30 years,” McGinty explained.
Looking forward, McGinty reminded everyone that the survivors still have a lot of healing to do.
“This is just a point of departure,” he said. “This doesn’t end the horror for the ladies and their families. They’re over a hump and hopefully it’ll be downhill from here, but they have a long way to go.”
Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 1. Rely on Fox 8 News and FOX8.com to bring you complete coverage.
***Scroll down for more in the live blog***