COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio prison officials on Tuesday placed two guards on leave during investigations into the suicide of Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro.
The two guards were on duty in the unit of the prison south of Columbus where Castro hanged himself, said JoEllen Smith, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman.
The guards are on paid administrative leave until internal investigations by the department and a criminal investigation by the state highway patrol are completed, Smith said.
Guards Caleb Ackley, 26, and Ryan Murphy, 27, both joined the agency in 2007 and neither has ever been disciplined, Smith said.
Castro, 53, hanged himself with a bedsheet earlier last week, a few weeks into a life sentence after pleading guilty and admitting to imprisoning three women in his home for a decade during which he repeatedly beat and raped them. He was on protective custody, a status requiring checks every 30 minutes, but was not on suicide watch.
Prisons director Gary Mohr has ordered reviews due by month's end into how the suicide happened, and whether Castro had received proper medical and mental health care.
Tim Shafer, an operations director for the union representing prison guards, said the two guards are being made scapegoats for Castro's suicide. Shafer said preliminary reports all say the guards did their jobs correctly that day.
Castro was at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient awaiting assignment to a permanent prison.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.