Ariel Castro: Lawyer Craig Weintraub claims he 'allowed captives to escape' by leaving door unlocked

Castro's former lawyer spoke a year after Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were freed from the house

Ariel Castro allowed the three women he held captive for more than a decade to escape by leaving the doors unlocked for months before, his former lawyer has claimed.

Castro felt that the young girl he fathered with one of his captives was getting older and needed to be in school with a life outside the house, attorney Craig Weintraub told WKYC-TV in Cleveland.

Mr Weintraub spoke on the anniversary of the escape from the house by Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, the three women who were kidnapped, beaten, sexually assaulted and starved over a ten-year period.  

Their breakout and subsequent recounting of the horrors they suffered during their time in captivity drew substantial attention.

"He didn't have the courage to go to the police department and surrender, and the only way this was going to happen is if he was negligent and allowed them to leave the house and be able to find a way out while he was gone a few hours," Mr Weintraub said.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in the video Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in the video Castro pleaded guilty to a long list of charges last August and soon after committed suicide in prison.

He had fathered a child with Ms Berry, and Mr Weintraub, one of two attorneys who represented Castro, said he decided not to kill the three women because he had become close to the child.

According to police documents released this week, Ms Berry told authorities after she escaped: "He didn't lock the door, he always locks the doors. I thought it was a trick but I had to take that chance."

Another document recounted a conversation Castro had with a police officer shortly after he was arrested, where he told the officer: "It was hard, but it was my secret, and I'm glad that it is over. Now I can die in prison, but I'm a victim, too."

On Monday, Ms Knight told NBC Castro deserves forgiveness because she'd want to be forgiven if she did wrong, and "that's the way of life." She added: "he is a human being and every human being needs to be loved."

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower