Crazy?: Accused Cleveland Strangler Plays the Insanity Card, Pleads Not Guilty

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - New developments in the case of the Cleveland Strangler.

Anthony Sowell pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity during his arraignment less Thursday morning. He must now undergo an evaluation to determine if his claims are true.

The bodies of eleven women were found in and around Sowell's Imperial Avenue home last month. All but one of the victims has been identified and laid to rest.

The 50-year-old sex offender is facing an unprecedented 85-count indictment for allegedly murdering eleven females, raping two females and attempting to rape a third female.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutors insist Sowell isn't crazy and that they fully expected him to try the insanity plea.

"We'll fight him until the bitter end on that issue," said Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Rick Bombik. "We have to deal with this case in our court system and the sooner, the better."

19 Action News has learned Sowell must also submit to an AIDS test because of he rape allegations.

He faces the possibility of being sent to death row if convicted of the heinous crimes.

A pre-trial has been slated for December 7th. The judge ordered he be held without bond until his next court appearance.

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