Defense Attorney Commentary: Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro found hanging in cell

Writen by: on September 14, 2013

Tonight, the three victims of Ariel Castro are not talking about the man who held them prisoner for a decade. The 53 year old hung himself inside his cell last night with a bed sheet at the state prison in Ohio. Prison medical staff performed CPR but they could not revive him. Local defense attorney Enrique Latoison joins us live now in the digital operations center. Enrique, let’s start with this. A lot of people are wondering today why this guy wasn’t on suicide watch given the high profile nature of this case.

Well, I mean, if you go by what his attorney requested, you would think that he would be. His attorney at the time requested that Mr. Castro be given a mental health evaluation because he has concerns but the court denied that evaluation. He was put in protective custody, that protective custody led him to his cell being checked every 30 minutes but that was due to the high profile nature case to keep him out of the general population to keep him from being harmed by other inmates but that’s different from 24 hour suicide watch.

Now, what liability does the prison have here because chances are good, I think, that the family is going to file suit, don’t you think?

I do but I think it’s going to be a stretch in this case. I mean, the family reported that before his suicide Mr. Castro was depressed, and he was reserved, and he was upset, but you have to remember he was just sentenced to life plus a thousand years. Unless they can prove that the prison somehow had specific knowledge that they knew he was going to try to commit suicide or had tried to commit suicide, I don’t see how they are going to win a civil suit against the prison in this case.

Castro’s victims have not issued a statement but do you expect they will remain silent through this case?

I do. I mean, I think it’s a very fine line. I mean, they don’t want to get on TV and sound happy or don’t want to sound sad either. I think that the suicide in this case, once again, shows the resolve of these victims. They spent 10 years in captivity as sex slaves. And, just to think that Mr. Castro couldn’t last a couple of months in captivity before he committed suicide.

Yeah, certainly there’s irony there, for sure. You mention that the impact on any civil damages, you know, may not be there and he probably doesn’t have anything to sue for. Right? I’m guessing.

That’s correct. I mean, Mr. Castro was known to come from very meager means. The house that he lived in has either been torn down at this point, or Cleveland was planning on tearing it down. He doesn’t have any assets. He doesn’t have any money. So, even if the family, even the victims, were to file civil suit against his estate, I don’t think there’s anything there for them to claim.

I know you hurried from court to get here today. We appreciate it. Enrique Latoison thanks so much for joining us.

Thanks for having me.

Thank you counselor.

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Managing Partner and founder of Latoison Law, Enrique Latoison, Esq. represents a diverse portfolio of clientele, including individuals, families, businesses and working professionals, in all of their legal needs. You can find him on Google+ and facebook or write to him at [email protected]. Mr. Latoison earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University, where he received awards in class excellence and accolades in distinguished class performance and outstanding trial advocacy.