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Ariel Castro to speak at sentencing, attorney says

Posted at 1:02 PM, Jul 31, 2013

(CNN) -- Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man accused of imprisoning three women in his home for nearly a decade, will speak at his sentencing Thursday, his attorney Craig Weintraub said Wednesday.

Castro is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday after agreeing to plead guilty last week to 937 counts. The plea agreement lets him avoid the possibility of a death sentence and spare his victims from having to testify at a trial.

Castro abducted Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus separately in a two-year period starting in 2002, according to authorities.

The women and Berry's 6-year-old daughter were freed in May after one of the women shouted for help while Castro was away from his 1,400-square-foot home. DNA tests have confirmed that Castro is the rescued child's father.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus at least 1,000 years.

CNN's Pamela Brown contributed to this report.