Kidnapper Ariel Castro's attorney calls hearing 'gratuitous', says it did not spare victims

Weintraub: 'He wanted to avoid death'

CLEVELAND - The defense attorney for admitted kidnapper Ariel Castro called Thursday's sentencing hearing "gratuitous and unnecessary."

Attorney Craig Weintraub spoke with the media shortly after his client was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus a thousand years. He said Castro was not surprised by his sentence because of managed expectations.

"He wanted to avoid death," Weintraub said. "But ultimately, he wanted to spare the women the re-victimization."

"We felt, from our perspective, we always wanted to maintain the privacy and the integrity of these women," Weintraub said. "To show the chains, to show the helmets that were worn during sexual assaults was completely gratuitous."

He said the evidence presented in court "defeated the purpose of all of this."

Weintraub said there was obviously no coaching when it came to Castro's statement to the court. Castro described himself as a sick person with an addiction who didn't plan to kidnap his first victim, Michelle Knight.

"It was a house of horrors, they were kidnapped, they weren't free to leave," Weintraub said. "But there was some normalcy."

"All of the women, including Jocelyn (Berry's daughter) would sit down and eat dinner with him," the attorney said. "I don't get the impression that he really believes that it's really somebody else's' fault."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty defended his choice to show photos and interviews by saying it would help maintain Castro's conviction years from now.

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