September 10th, 2013
04:57 PM ET

Ariel Castro suicide: Two guards placed on leave

Two Ohio correctional officers have been placed on leave as investigators look into the suicide of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction told CNN.

Caleb Ackley and Ryan Murphy, both hired in 2007, were on duty in the prison unit where Castro was housed the night he hanged himself.

Castro, 52, was found hanged with a bedsheet September 3, coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak said. He was being held at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Ohio
September 6th, 2013
12:43 PM ET

DUI video confession: 'I killed a man'

Matt Cordle's confession doesn't beat around the bush: "I killed a man."

The Ohio man claims in a video posted on the Internet this week that he killed 61-year-old Vincent Canzani in a drunken-driving crash in June.

"I take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family," Cordle says in the video.

The 22-year-old has not been charged with any crime, but Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Cordle is a suspect in the deadly crash and a grand jury will be asked to indict him for aggravated vehicular homicide.

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Filed under: Crime • Ohio
August 13th, 2013
01:33 AM ET

Gun safety instructor shoots student

Oh the irony. An Ohio man was shot in the arm. At a gun safety class.

Michael Piemonte was attending a concealed-carry class with his wife Alison in central Ohio's Fairfield County over the weekend. Such classes are required for anyone wanting carry a concealed weapon in the state.

There were 29 students in the lecture-type class, Piemonte said. He was sitting in the front row.

While the instructor was demonstrating a self-defense techniques, the gun went off.

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Filed under: Ohio • U.S.
Castro's victims resilient after torment
August 2nd, 2013
05:08 AM ET

Castro's victims resilient after torment

They were living in hell, and Ariel Castro did all he could to make sure they'd never escape.

He tied and chained them up, removed handles from doors and replaced them with padlocks. He rigged entrances to the house with makeshift alarms, threatened them with a gun and fed them only once a day.

He covered windows to keep them out of view and sunlight out of their rooms.

But Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus focused on the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel.

They nurtured the faith that they would one day be free. They clung to each other. They persevered and emerged from years of hell to find new life.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Content Partner • Courts • Crime • Health • Hostages • Justice • Ohio • Religion • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • U.S. • Uncategorized • World Update
Cleveland kidnapper gets life, plus 1,000 years
Before apologizing to his victims, Ariel Castro said in court that he was "not a monster, I'm just sick."
August 1st, 2013
02:39 PM ET

Cleveland kidnapper gets life, plus 1,000 years

After a statement from Ariel Castro - the Cleveland man who held three women captive and sexually abused them for the better part of a decade - and powerful words from one of his victims, a judge sentenced him Thursday to life in prison plus 1,000 years.

Judge Michael Russo called the sentence "commensurate with the harm you've done."

"There is no place in this city, there is no place in this country, there is no place in this world for those who enslave others," Russo said.

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Police: Day-care operator drugged kids
June 19th, 2013
05:42 AM ET

Police: Day-care operator drugged kids

Getting children to take a nap can be hard. Getting them to eat pancakes is not nearly as difficult.

Police in Westerville, Ohio, say a 37-year-old mother operating a day care out of her home hit upon a plan - she allegedly crushed medications that cause drowsiness and put them in the pancakes.

Tammy Eppley has been charged with six counts of child endangerment. Her first court date is July 12.

Eppley, who runs the Caterpillar Clubhouse, cared for six children - including one of her own - between the ages of 2 and 5, police said.

"This is mortifying. I'm a very private person and I'm very protective of my children and the children in my care," she said.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Ohio
May 18th, 2013
09:53 AM ET

Plea to officers: 'Please don't let me go'

When officers arrived at Ariel Castro's home in Cleveland, a crowd had formed on the porch.

But where was the woman they came for? Where was Amanda Berry?

Then she stepped forward, holding a crying baby. It was really her, the missing girl they had searched for for 10 years.

It is Amanda Berry, Officer Michael Tracy said.

"Just the emotion at that point of my partner confirming that it was Amanda ... It was overwhelming," Officer Anthony Espada recalled.

Cleveland police this week released the emotional video interviews of officers Espada, Tracy and Barbara Johnson, who helped in the May 6 rescue of the three women from Castro's home.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Ohio
May 13th, 2013
07:44 AM ET

Castro's brothers: Ariel fooled us

Ariel Castro's brothers no longer refer to him as kin. Instead, they call him "a monster" who should rot in jail after being accused of kidnapping and holding three young women hostage in his home for a decade.

"I had nothing to do with this, and I don't know how my brother got away with it for so many years," Pedro Castro, 54, said when he and brother Onil Castro, 50, sat down for an exclusive interview with CNN's Martin Savidge this weekend.

When the story first broke, the world saw all three brothers as suspects after Cleveland police arrested them last Monday and released their mugshots. It was not until Thursday that Pedro and Onil Castro were freed and investigators said the brothers had no involvement in the kidnappings.

Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old former school bus driver, remains in a Cleveland jail on $8 million bond. He's charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Ohio
May 10th, 2013
07:51 AM ET

Cleveland suspect could face murder counts

First came the pain a decade of torture, torment and terror for three captive women and one of their young daughters.

Now comes the prosecution and if there's a conviction punishment for the man accused of being responsible for their hell.

Ariel Castro appeared silently in court Thursday, his head down, as he was arraigned on four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, accused of holding the women captive in his Cleveland home. Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren Moore ordered Castro held on $8 million bond $2 million for each of the three women and the child born to Amanda Berry before they were freed Monday evening.

Hours later, the top prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, announced he'd press for more charges "for each and every act of sexual violence ... each day of kidnapping, every felonious assault (and) all his attempted murders."

Furthermore, Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said he'd try to persuade a grand jury to indict the 52-year-old Castro for "aggravated murder" for the termination of his captives' pregnancies. He cited a state law that a person can be charged with murder - a conviction that could lead to the death penalty in Ohio - for killing unborn children.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Ohio
May 10th, 2013
07:45 AM ET

'He is dead to me,' Ohio suspect's daughter says

Seldom does a daughter use such harsh words to describe her own father.

Ariel Castro's daughter called him "the most evil, vile, demonic criminal" she ever heard of during a CNN exclusive interview Thursday.

"He is dead to me," Angie Gregg said of the father police say kidnapped, held captive, raped and beat three young women in Cleveland for about a decade.

She had known her "daddy" as a "friendly, caring, doting man."

Now shocked and in disbelief, Gregg says she never wants to see him again.

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May 8th, 2013
03:48 PM ET

2 once-missing Cleveland women return home

Two of the three women rescued from a Cleveland home where they'd been held for about a decade or more returned home Wednesday while police readied charges against the men accused of keeping them captive.

Well-wishers from the neighborhood cheered as a gray van carrying Amanda Berry and the 6-year-old daughter she gave birth to during her captivity pulled up. The porch was decorated with balloons and stuffed animals and draped with a red banner that read, "Welcome home Amanda."

"We are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home," her sister, Beth Serrano, told reporters. "I want to thank the public and media for their support and courage over the years."

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Ohio
May 7th, 2013
07:55 AM ET

Cops find 3 women missing for years

Amanda Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.

Georgina "Gina" DeJesus disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.

Michele Knight vanished in 2002, at age 19, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

All three were found alive in a home in a Cleveland neighborhood Monday night, police announced in a development hailed as a miracle by their families.

"Help me, I am Amanda Berry," Berry told police in a frantic 911 call from a neighbor's house. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now."

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Ohio
Jury recommends death for 'Craigslist killer'
Richard James Beasley, 53, was convicted of being the mastermind of a plot to kill men lured by Craigslist ad.
March 20th, 2013
06:40 PM ET

Jury recommends death for 'Craigslist killer'

A jury on Wednesday unanimously recommended Richard James Beasley be sentenced to death for killing three men who had answered a Craigslist ad for work on an Ohio cattle farm.

Summit County Judge Lynne Callahan set sentencing for Tuesday.

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Filed under: Crime • Death Penalty • Ohio • U.S.
Ohio school shooter gets life in prison
T.J. Lane, wearing the word "killer" on his T-shirt in court Tuesday, had pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder.
March 19th, 2013
11:50 AM ET

Ohio school shooter gets life in prison

Ohio school shooter T.J. Lane should spend the rest of his life in prison in the deaths of three students last year, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Wearing a white T-shirt with the word "killer" written on it, Lane declined to allow his attorneys to present evidence on his behalf at the sentencing hearing before Geauga County Common Pleas Judge David L. Fuhry.

Lane pleaded guilty last month to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and weapons-related charges in the February 27, 2012, shooting at Chardon High School in northeastern Ohio.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Gun violence • Justice • Ohio
Ohio school shooter faces sentencing
March 19th, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Ohio school shooter faces sentencing

T.J. Lane took a .22 caliber gun to school just over a year ago in northeastern Ohio.

Without saying a word, he walked up to a table in the cafeteria of Chardon High School and opened fire.

He killed three and wounded three more.

On Tuesday, Lane finds out what price he will pay for his crime when he is sentenced.

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Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Gun Control • Gun violence • Ohio • U.S. • Uncategorized
March 17th, 2013
10:27 AM ET

Two teens found guilty in Ohio rape case

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (CNN) - A judge found two Steubenville star high school football players guilty Sunday of raping an allegedly drunk 16-year-old girl.

Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after reviewing evidence presented over four days of testimony in the case against 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond, who were tried as juveniles.

Mays and Richmond were tried before Lipps, a visiting judge, without a jury. The trial moved quickly - and through the weekend - to accommodate the judge's schedule.

They face the possibility of being jailed until they are 21.

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March 15th, 2013
03:26 AM ET

Conservative's reversal on gay marriage

You probably recognize Sen. Rob Portman from his tireless campaigning for Mitt Romney in 2012. He was even on the short list to be Romney's running mate.

He's been a leading Republican voice on economic issues for four decades.

Now, the prominent Ohio conservative will be known for something else: reversing his hardline position against gay marriage.

He invited CNN to his Senate office to reveal the news.

"I'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples' opportunity to marry," Portman told CNN.

It has to do with another revelation, one deeply personal. His 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • Ohio • Politics • Same-sex marriage
March 14th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

Marathon day expected in Ohio rape trial

More prosecution witnesses are expected to testify Thursday in a marathon 11-hour session in the rape trial of two Steubenville, Ohio, football players accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

The case against the teenage defendants caught national attention, in part because some of the alleged abuse was captured in cellphone images circulated in text messages and on the Internet. Critics have accused community leaders of trying to paper over rampant misconduct by players of the highly regarded Steubenville High School football team and have suggested that other students took part in the assaults or failed to do enough stop them.

The trial, which started Wednesday, is moving quickly to accommodate the schedule of visiting Judge Thomas Lipps, who is presiding over the trial without a jury. A verdict is expected by Sunday.

You can watch live footage of the trial here, or read about the case here.

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Filed under: Crime • Ohio
March 12th, 2013
04:39 AM ET

5 teens die in fiery collision in Texas

At the intersection of the two country roads, charred debris lies strewn haphazardly. The earth around it is scorched for yards around.

It is here, in this corner of Dumas, Texas, that a sports utility vehicle slammed into a gas tanker Sunday afternoon. The tanker's flammable cargo sent both vehicles up in flames, seriously injuring the truck driver and killing all five passengers in the Chevy SUV.

All of those who perished were teenagers.

The crash, coupled with another tragic one in Warren, Ohio, the same day, highlighted yet again how motor vehicle wrecks continue to be the number one killer of youths in the United States.

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Filed under: Accidents • Ohio • Texas
March 6th, 2013
08:47 AM ET

Storm keeps at least 900K students from class

A snowstorm that set snowfall records in Chicago yesterday is now giving an unscheduled day off for nearly 1 million students in states to the east.

More than 905,000 public school students are not going to classes Wednesday because of the winter storm slamming the United States, according to school districts in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio.

The numbers are a reflection of major districts only, and do not include many smaller districts in the storm-affected area.

The storm could dump as many as 20 inches of snow west of the nation's capital. At least 93,406 customers were without power Wednesday morning in Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia, according to numbers provided by local power companies.

Read more about the storm

Radar: Track the storm


iReport.com: Snow in Dayton, Ohio

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Filed under: District of Columbia • Maryland • Ohio • Virginia • Weather • West Virginia • Winter weather
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