Ariel Castro, the Ohio man accused of holding three women captive for about a decade, is competent to stand trial, a judge said at a hearing Wednesday.
Judge Michael Russo said a competency evaluation showed with "reasonable medical certainty" that Castro, 52, is capable of understanding the proceedings and assisting counsel.
"So consistent with the statute where there is presumption of competency and consistent with the report done by our experts which the court is accepting as evidence for purposes of this hearing, the court finds Mr. Castro is competent to proceed in this matter, to assist council and to stand trial," the judge said.
Castro, clad in an orange prison suit, sat in the court during the hearing, his head lowered and eyes sometimes closed.
He is accused of holding the women in his Cleveland home. He faces 329 counts, including one count of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
INSIDE: View our list of events happening this week around the Valley.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
A gunman has surrendered after a barricade situation at Phoenix Baptist Hospital Monday morning.
Freeze watches and warnings will kick off our week as we're expecting a few frigid mornings. Find out when we'll finally break out of this cold snap.
The Peoria Police Department is using volunteers to help cut back on holiday crime by handing out report cards in busy parking lots.
Town officials in Prescott Valley have agreed to put $40,000 for promoting regional economic development.
Democratic state Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor is set to formally announce she is running for Arizona Secretary of State in 2014 after months of exploring a run for her party's nomination.
Lawyers in the racial profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office face a Monday deadline for recommending who should be appointed to monitor the agency's operations to ensure it isn't making unconstitutional arrests.