A report from Ohio’s prison departmentsays two guards falsified logs that documented the observation of Ariel Castro, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping three women and holding them hostage in his Cleveland house for nearly a decade.
Castro killed himself in his jail cell shortly after he was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years. He made a sickening statement in court during sentencing in which he appeared to blame the victims for their ordeal.
Prison guards were supposed to be checking on Castro, who was in protective custody, every 30 minutes.
But the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s report says video shows that guards neglected to check on Castro at least eight times the afternoon and evening before his suicide, according to the AP.
There were warning signs that Castro was suicidal. Investigators found a 2004 suicide note in his home in which he wrote about his lack of remorse for his crimes and wanting to kill himself.
Psychologists have said that his suicide only served to hurt the victims, deprive them of justice, and show them that Castro was still in control of his own fate.
The state’s report reveals that officials are still unsure exactly how Castro died. From the report:
He was found in his cell with a Bible open to John chapters 2 and 3. Additionally, he had pictures of his family out and arranged in a poster-board fashion. He was hanging from a hinge in the window of his cell by a sheet wrapped around his neck. His pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles. The relevance of this finding is unclear. These facts, however, were relayed to the Ohio State Highway Patrol for consideration of the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation. No other immediate observations about the scene led to conclusions about the motivation for the self-inflicted death.
This isn’t the first high-profile suicide to happen in Ohio prisons, according to The Columbus Dispatch. A death row inmate killed himself in August, three days before his execution date. Now, the state is paying a national expert on inmate suicides to come in and assess procedures at the prisons.
In addition to guards neglecting to make rounds to checking on Castro, prison officials failed to show him the required suicide video during his prison orientation, and investigators weren’t able to find documentation of Castro’s initial mental health screening, according to the report.
The two guards who were supposed to be watching Castro on the night of his death have been on administrative leave since the investigation began, according to 10TV in Columbus.
The DRC’s full report is embedded below:
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