TODAY   |  May 09, 2013

Ohio kidnap suspect Ariel Castro in court

The man suspected of abducting three women and holding them captive in a home in Cleveland for over a decade was is in court this morning for his arraignment and will be held on $8 million bond. NBC’s Jeff Rossen reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> castro is 52 years old, he's lived in the area for 39 years. he is on unemployment compensation. and to the best of my knowledge, he has no convictions. for felonies or serious misdemeanors.

>> good morning, your honor. -- charges against mr. castro based on --

>> 8:30 now on a thursday morning, it's the 9th day of may, 2013 . you're looking at a live picture from cleveland , ohio, as a court appearance begins for the suspect in the cleveland kidnapping case. that is ariel castro toward the front of the courtroom right there. he, of course, is facing charges of kidnapping and rape. his brothers are present, as well.

>> they have been charged with something unrelated to the kidnapping case. the main event here is this initial appearance for this defendant. and i believe the lawyers are talking about the issue of bail and the judge was going through the history of mr. castro , and i would be very, very surprised if he were granted bail under these conditions.

>> you're watching "today," i'm matt lauer along with savannah guthrie . this is a story we've been covering since monday when news broke that these three young women who had been kidnapped up to a decade ago in 2002 , 2003 and 2004 had been found alive in a home in cleveland after one took a chance and actually flagged down a neighbor and managed to escape along with her young daughter and then alerted that neighbor and police to the fact that two other women who had been missing for a decade were in the house, as well.

>> and we are seeing what is the first step in a court process, a lengthy court process if it goes to trial. it's unclear that will happen. ultimately, a grand jury may hear this case. so we may see additional charges against mr. castro . this is the first time we're seeing video of him as he faces right now four counts of kidnapping, three counts of rape in connection with this case.

>> and there were reports overnight that he has told police, first of all, that he has confessed and also said he did this alone and that his brothers were not involved, but as savannah mentioned, they're in court today based on unrelated charges.

>> that's right. and a lot of people have wondered about this, why it is the brothers were not charged. not just on the basis of the testimony of this defendant. but as we understand it, also the testimony that the witness statements of the three women who were abducted. so at the moment, the two brothers are facing charges unrelated to the kidnapping and we've seen mr. castro departing the courtroom.

>> we understand jeff rossen is there perhaps outside the courtroom. has the community turned out for this? is there a lot of interest in the hearing going on?

>> reporter: there's a huge amount of interest, of course. this is our first look at ariel castro aside from that mug shot. and other color to add to this if you watched him in court, i found fascinating, he looked down the entire time. he barely looked up as the charges were being read. he waived his miranda rights . he waived them and voluntarily talked to police and the fbi, gave investigators what they're calling a detailed statement. this as you know as we've been reporting this morning as new details emerge about what happened to these victims, allegedly, inside of that home including, you know, the rapes and the beatings. so violent in some cases where he impregnated according to the women, one of them up to five times and forcing her to have abortions. but, you know, once again, our first look at ariel castro . as you mentioned, 52 years old and, you know, there is a lot of interest as you mentioned here in this community about what happens to this man and also it's really changed the face of how police, perhaps, will look for missing americans in this area. a lot of questions about how police handle this all along too, matt and savannah.

>> jeff, thank you very much.

>> jeff mentioned the confession, may be setting the stage potentially for a guilty plea down the road which would, of course, save the ordeal of the young women having to go to court and testify.