CLEVELAND - Trial could begin as soon as August for the Ohio man accused of kidnapping three women and holding them in his home for about a decade if he waives his right to a speedy trial.
Judge Michael Russo in Cleveland says he's aiming for trial to begin on or before the first week of August.
Ariel Castro, with his wrists and ankles shackled, appeared in court in Cleveland for a brief hearing Wednesday.
As in previous court appearances, he kept his chin tucked in his chest. He answered "yes" and "no" to the judge's questions about his understanding of the proceedings.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Russo mentioned plea deal discussions raised by the defense last week. He asked that any plea deal that emerges be submitted by attorneys in writing.
The 52-year-old Castro faces another pretrial hearing June 26.
Also Wednesday, lawmakers in Columbus planned to discuss providing relief payments to the three women.