Ariel Castro Scheduled for Court Hearing Friday Morning

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.

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