Via Cleveland.com, Ariel Castro pleaded not guilty to 329 crimes, including two counts of aggravated murder.
Castro's attorney Craig Weintraub, reading a statement after the brief court appearance, said that some of charges are beyond dispute, and that he'd like very much to avoid an "unnecessary" trial. The "not guilty" plea was characterized as a procedural formality. Evidently, there's still some legal hashing out to do with respect to the death of the fetuses and the parameters of aggravated murder.
Castro, recall, is accused of "purposely and with prior calculation and design causing the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy."
Said Weintraub: "We are very sensitive to the emotional strain and the impact that a trial would have on the women, their families and this community."