EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) – An Ohio man suspected of killing three women whose bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags was arraigned on Monday on three counts of aggravated murder and three counts of kidnapping.
Michael Madison, 35, a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to attempted rape in 2002, was ordered held in lieu of $6 million bail. Judge William Dawson said the bail he set in East Cleveland Municipal Court represented $1 million for each count.
Handcuffed and wearing a gauzy purple jumpsuit and diamond-like earring, Madison quietly told the judge he understood the charges against him.
Madison, his head close shaven and beard trimmed, declined to enter a plea and waived a preliminary hearing. His case will now be transferred to Cuyahoga County Court.
Authorities said he would be taken to the Cuyahoga County jail, where Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, is being held in a separate kidnapping case involving three female captives.
Madison was arrested on Friday at his mother’s home, after authorities found the three bodies near the apartment building where he lived. Neighbors’ complaints of a pungent smell triggered the search.
The bodies, two of which were found by cadaver-smelling dogs, were located in a garage, the basement of a building and in a weeded lot nearby. The bodies had been there for about six to 10 days, during which temperatures soared into the 90s, said East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton.
One of the victims was identified as Angela Deskins, 38, Norton said. Authorities were working to identify the other two victims, he said.
(By Kim Palmer. Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Bill Trott and Steve Orlofsky)
(This story was refiled to say Madison was arrested on Friday and not Saturday in the sixth paragraph)
["Judge reads verdict" via Shutterstock]