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Sex Offender Arrested in E. Cleveland Killings

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on July 22, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A registered sex offender arrested after three women's bodies were found in East Cleveland will be charged with three counts of aggravated murder, authorities announced Monday.

Police arrested Michael Madison, 35, on Friday night after a two-hour standoff at his mother's home. Cadaver dogs discovered the bodies of the three women behind abandoned homes. All three were wrapped in several layers of plastic.

A medical examiner has yet to determine a cause of death because the bodies have started to decompose, according to The Plain Dealer.

Anthony Sowell Influence?

According to East Cleveland's mayor, Madison suggested to law enforcement that he was influenced by Anthony Sowell, who was captured in 2009 after killing 11 women and burying them in and around his Cleveland home. The city's police chief disputes the mayor's account, however.

Like Sowell's victims, all three of Madison's alleged victims were black women. Sowell, who is on death row, was a registered sex offender at the time of his crimes.

Similarly, Madison, 35, registered as a sex offender after a four-year prison sentence for an attempted rape conviction in 2002.

What May Come Next

Whether or not he was influenced by Sowell, Madison may follow in his footsteps and enter a plea of insanity.

In a high-profile case like this, it's also likely that Madison's defense team will request a gag order, which would bar attorneys and police in the case from commenting publicly.

A gag order is used to ensure a fair and unbiased trial. But the request must be weighed against the free speech rights of the person sought to be "gagged."

The is the second time in months that a heinous crime against women in the Cleveland area has hit national headlines.

It was only in May that three Cleveland women -- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight -- escaped from a home where authorities said they had been held captive for roughly a decade. The alleged culprit in that case, Ariel Castro, now faces more than 900 counts of kidnapping, rape, and assault.

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