Ariel Castro is scheduled to be back in court Friday morning, just more than one week before he is set to go to trial.
A statement from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas says the prosecution and defense are in negotiations over a plea deal. The prosecutor's office would not comment on a possible deal, and attorneys for Castro did not return calls for comment. But Castro's lawyers have said previously that they would be open to a plea deal if prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.
Castro is accused of holding three women captive in his west side Cleveland home for about a decade. He faces 977 counts against him, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder for allegedly causing one of the women to miscarry a pregnancy.