Cleveland man who lived near Ariel Castro gets 445 years for murder, rape

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(CNN) — A Cleveland man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the killings of two women in the 1990s, cases that were reinvestigated after the discovery of three women held captive nearby for years by Ariel Castro.

Elias Acevedo Sr., 49, pleaded guilty Monday to 297 counts, including aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping, said Timothy McGinty, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor.

CNN affiliate WEWS reported the charges included the two slayings, the 1993 rape of his sister-in-law and the sexual assault of three children.

Acevedo cried as victims gave statement and later said he wished he could “change everything that happened,” the station reported.

“I’m not a monster,” he said.

The plea recommendation was accepted by a Cuyahoga Common Pleas judge, a written statement from McGinty’s office said. Acevedo received two consecutive sentences of 20 years to life and 405 years for the rape and other charges.

In October, the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force — which was looking into other suspected abductions in Cleveland after Castro was arrested — linked Acevedo to the slaying of Christina Adkins, who disappeared in 1995 at age 18.

Remains believed to be those of Adkins were found in October in a utility vault near the intersection of interstates 71, 90 and 490, authorities said.

Acevedo was indicted earlier this year in the 1993 rape, which occurred near where Pamela Pemberton’s body was found the next year.

As part of Monday’s plea, Acevedo admitted to strangling the 30-year-old woman on October, 24, 1994, and leaving her body in a vacant lot.

Acevedo was arrested earlier this year in the same neighborhood where authorities found Amanda Berry, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus and Michelle Knight in May at Castro’s two-story home.

Castro, who pleaded guilty to 937 counts, was found hanged with a bedsheet in his jail cell on September 3.

By Steve Almasy with contribution from Kevin Conlon and Chelsea J. Carter.

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