Two probes launched after Ariel Castro hangs himself with bedshe - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Two probes launched after Ariel Castro hangs himself with bedsheet

Posted:

Courtesy NBC News

By Alexander Smith, NBC News contributor

Two investigations were launched late Wednesday into how kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro managed to hang himself with a bedsheet while in protective custody.

Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said one review would look at the suicide itself while the other would assess Castro's circumstances and care in the days leading to his death, The Associated Press reported.

The 53-year-old former bus driver was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts including rape, kidnap and aggravated murder following the decade-long incarceration of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight at his Cleveland home. Castro was found hanging in his cell late Tuesday -- just a month into this term.

Authorities found a suicide note at his house following his arrest in May, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said after Castro's sentencing. According to Castro's attorney Craig Weintraub, his client was initially placed on suicide watch while in jail but this was later downgraded.

When he was transferred to the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, he was put in protective custody, a common measure for prisoners who are at risk from other inmates. This meant he was in a cell on his own and checked every 30 minutes.

Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said Wednesday the cause of death was suicide by hanging and the injuries were consistent with someone using a bedsheet.

Speaking on NBC's TODAY, Weintraub vowed to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding Casto's death.

"We'll find out exactly what happened," he said. "There's no way we are going to let this go."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio also called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

"As horrifying as Mr. Castro's crimes may be, the state has a responsibility to ensure his safety from himself and others," said ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link. "Questions remain whether Mr. Castro was properly screened for suicide risk and mental illness. Prisons officials must address these issues, not only to fully account for how Mr. Castro was able to commit suicide, but also to prevent this from occurring again."

Earlier, an expert on preventing prison suicides told NBC News that authorities should "be very careful and take as much time as possible to look at both the inmate and the prison system to see if it did its due diligence."

"I would not be surprised if there is a quick investigation and determination that this was not a preventable suicide,"said Lindsay Hayes, project director at the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives

Some of Castro's former neighbors did not mourn him Wednesday.  

Elsie Cintron, who lived up the street from the former school bus driver, said: "We're sad to hear that he's dead, but at the same time, we're happy he's gone, and now we know he can't ask for an appeal."

Carina Hughes, 34, who lives a couple blocks away, decided to come visit the spot where the women had been held after hearing Castro was dead.

"I just needed to be here. I just relate to the girls," she said. "It could have been me. It could have been my daughter."

Read on NBC News

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • One year after bombing, Boston beefs up security for famed marathon

    One year after bombing, Boston beefs up security for famed marathon

    One year after bombing, Boston beefs up security for famed marathon

    Kris Biagiotti pushes her special-needs daughter, Kayla, in a jogging stroller during the Boston Marathon in 2013.Kris Biagiotti pushes her special-needs daughter, Kayla, in a jogging stroller during the Boston Marathon in 2013.
    (BOSTON)- Monday sees the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and the firstsince the attack last year that killed three spectators.On Sunday evening, security preparations were front and center along with the runners and 1 million people who will watch the storied race.For blocks in downtown Boston, a ring of steel barricades cordons off where Monday's race will end. Some 3,500 cops will protect the marathon course, double least year's police presence. Spectators have been told to bring no ...More >>
    (BOSTON)- Monday sees the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and the firstsince the attack last year that killed three spectators.On Sunday evening, security preparations were front and center along with the runners and 1 million people who will watch the storied race.For blocks in downtown Boston, a ring of steel barricades cordons off where Monday's race will end. Some 3,500 cops will protect the marathon course, double least year's police presence. Spectators have been told to bring no ...More >>
  • Open Carry Texas begins Gregg County chapter, holds first march

    Open Carry Texas begins Gregg County chapter, holds first march

    Open Carry Texas begins Gregg County chapter, holds first march

    Sunday, April 20 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-04-20 21:25:38 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Walking up and down one of the busiest stretches of road in Longview, Gregg County's Open Carry Texas Group held its first March and members openly carried rifles and shotguns aroundMore >>
    New group in Gregg County helps promote gun rights. More >>
  • Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Tyler Police searching for early morning robber

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:08:37 GMT
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
    Tyler Police need your help finding an early morning robbery suspect. A woman says a robber tackled her to the ground and stole her purse. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.