Cuyahoga County

Elias Acevedo enters guilty plea, gets life sentence




 December 30, 2013

Cleveland – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced today that Elias Acevedo Sr. has entered a plea of guilty to all 297 counts for which he had been indicted and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Those charges included four counts of Aggravated Murder – two each related to the slayings of 30-year-old Pamela Pemberton in October of 1994 and 18-year-old Christina Adkins in January of 1995. In addition, Acevedo entered a guilty plea to 175 counts of Rape, 116 counts of Kidnapping, one count of Gross Sexual Imposition and one count of Failure To Provide Notice of Change of Address. Most of the sexual-assault counts involved victims who were under age 13.

The plea agreement accepted today by Acevedo recommended two consecutive sentences of 20 years to life for the Aggravated Murders plus an additional 405 years for the non-homicide offenses. That recommendation was accepted by Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Michael P. Donnelly who emphasized to Acevedo that it meant he would never leave prison alive.

"As harsh as this sentence is," Judge Donnelly told Acevedo, "it is far more humane than the harm you inflicted on the two decedents and on the other victims you heard here today."

Acevedo, 49, of Cleveland, was already in jail on rape and failure to notify charges on October 10th when he led investigators to a utility vault near the intersections of Interstates 71, 90 and 490 where the remains of Christina Adkins were discovered.

A convicted sex offender, Acevedo had become a suspect in the disappearance of Adkins when the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force began re-examining other cases of women missing from the neighborhoods around Seymour Avenue in the aftermath of Ariel Castro’s arrest. The Violent Crime Task Force includes agents from the FBI as well as detectives from the Cleveland Police Department, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police.

In July of this year, he was indicted for a 1993 rape and kidnapping in a case generated by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and pursued by the DNA Cold Case Task Force organized by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

At the time of the October breakthrough, Prosecutor McGinty lauded these joint efforts as "some of the finest police work I have seen in 40 years." He singled our FBI Special Agent Andy Burke and Cleveland Police Detective Andy Harasimchuck for "the innovative police techniques they used to solve these heretofore unsolvable murders."

After today’s hearing, Assistant County Prosecutor Blaise Thomas, said, "Elias Acevedo’s trail of crime and violence left two women dead and permanently scarred other individuals, families and communities. Today’s guilty plea and sentence by Judge Donnelly ensure that he will only leave prison in box.

"This conviction is the direct result of the never-give-up attitude of the FBI Violent Crime Task Force and the Ohio Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. Their investigators cracked these cases after so many years, brought this predator to justice and finally have given some degree of closure to those he victimized so horribly."

Thomas and Assistant County Prosecutor Brian Radigan represented the State of Ohio in this case.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: (216) 443-7488 or Cell: (216) 640-6186