Ariel Castro’s neighbor pleaded guilty to 297 counts of rape and murder. Elias Acevedo Sr., age 49, admitted killing Pamela Pemberton in 1994 and Christina Adkins in 1995. He also admitted sexually assaulting numerous young women and children over a period of 25 years. Judge Michael Donnelly sentenced Acevedo to 445 years as part of a plea deal.
On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were rescued from the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro. All three women were kidnapped and held captive for more than 10 years. Castro was eventually arrested and convicted of more than 900 counts of kidnapping, rape, and the aggravated murder of an unborn child.
Although Castro committed suicide on September 3, 2013, the Cleveland neighborhood is still haunted by the horrific crimes. Castro’s arrest led authorities to explore numerous unsolved crimes in the community. They eventually focused on Ariel Castro’s neighbor Elias Acevedo, who is a convicted sex offender.
As reported by ABC News, when detectives re-examined the missing persons cases, they noted several inconsistencies in Acevedo’s interviews with police. When questioned about the inconsistencies, he initially denied any involvement with the missing women.
In an attempt to secure a confession, detectives eventually offered Acevedo a plea deal. They said he would be spared the death penalty if he confessed to the crimes. The suspect eventually confessed to killing Pemberton and Adkins. He also provided detailed information about how and where he committed the crimes.
In addition to the two murders, Acevedo also admitted sexually assaulting and raping numerous women and children in the last 25 years. NBC News reports he initially pleaded not guilty to 293 counts of rape, kidnapping, and murder. However, he changed his plea on Monday, pleading guilty to 297 counts of murder, kidnapping, and raping children.
Like Ariel Castro, his neighbor Elias Acevedo maintains that he is “not a monster.” He apologized during sentencing and expressed his love and blessings to his victims.