Anthony Sowell Indicted, Ohio Man enters insanity plea in 11 deaths

An Ohio grand jury has indicted Anthony Sowell on 85 counts connected to the gruesome discovery of bodies and human remains buried in his yard and laying around his house. The Ohio man has entered an insanity plea in the 11 deaths with which he has been charged.

Anthony Sowell, 50-years-old, is a registered sex offended who served 15-years in prison for a 1989 rape. He was released in 2005 and has been living in his childhood home outside Cleveland, Ohio in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Authorities went to his home in October to serve a warrant on a rape charge. While attempting to serve the warrant, police found remains of six women in his yard. They found an the remains of an additional five women in his house. All of the murdered women were African-American.

The discovery of the remains in and around Sowell’s house lead to a search for Sowell. He was arrested in October 2009 and has been charged with the murder of 11 women and is facing 85 charges against him. He is facing the death penalty.

The FBI has been called in to assist local authorities in continuing to search Sowell’s property for more victims. They are also using cadaver dogs.

Sowell is also charged with the assault and rape of three women, one on December 8, 2008 and another on September 22, 2009 and October 20, 2009. Those women have reported being raped, punched and choked by Sowell before escaping from him. He is alleged to have threatened his victims to keep them from contacting the police.

It is thought that he lured homeless and addicted women into his home and then raped and strangled them. Most of the victims were strangled to death. Seven of the bodies still had ligatures wrapped around their necks. A skull in a paper bag and stuffed into a bucket in the basement of his home is thought to be yet another victim.

Anthony Sowell has been indicted on 85 charges including aggravated murder with a ‘mass murder specification’, rape, kidnapping, attempted murder, attempted rape, robbery and felonious assault and brutalizing women. The Ohio man has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the 11 deaths.

Under Ohio law, in order to prove his insanity defense, he must show that he was unable to differentiate between right and wrong at the time of his crimes because of ’severe mental disease or defect’.

Sowell has been kept in isolation and has declined any visitation. He’s been on suicide watch since his arrest and psychiatric evaluations have been ordered. He is being held without bond.

You can see the court proceedings in the video below.

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