Ariel Castro Suicide Investigation: Corrections Officers Placed on Leave
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Two Ohio corrections officers have been placed on administrative leave while investigations continue into Ariel Castro's suicide, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Caleb Ackley, 26, and Ryan Murphy, 27, were on duty on Sept. 3 when Castro committed suicide by hanging himself with a bedsheet inside his cell. Castro was sentenced last month to life plus 1,000 years in prison for kidnapping and abusing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight while holding them captive for over a decade in an Ohio home.
In a statement Tuesday, DRC spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Ackley and Knight were working in Castro's housing unit at the time of his death. Smith said the two officers are on "paid administrative leave today pending the outcome of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's investigation as well as our internal administrative investigation surrounding the suicide of Ariel Castro."
The two officers face no discipline at this time, she noted.
At Castro's sentencing in August, Knight told him, "I spent 11 years in hell -- now your hell is just beginning."
Castro spent his time in prison in an 8-by-12-foot cell with a bed, sink, urinal, shower and writing surface. He was alone 23 hours a day, with guards checking on him every half-hour. But at 9:20 p.m. on Sept. 3, guards found Castro hanging in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck. According to authorities, medical staff quickly began CPR and rushed him to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.
In an interview after Castro's suicide, his attorney Craig Weintraub told ABC News that his client should have been on suicide watch.
"Any sort of intake screening for a psychological assessment may have been inadequate," Weintraub said. "So we wanted to make ensure there were safeguards implemented at the facility to prevent what occurred."
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