Page last updated at 10:26 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Ohio murder suspect denied bail

Anthony Sowell during his court appearance on 4 November 2009
Anthony Sowell appeared in court under tight security

A convicted sex offender living in an Ohio house where several bodies have been found has been denied bail.

Anthony Sowell was charged with five counts of aggravated murder on Tuesday.

Judge Ronald Adrine refused bail because of the "macabre nature" of Mr Sowell's crimes, who is also facing rape, assault and kidnapping charges.

Prosecutor Brian Murphy told the judge Mr Sowell, 50, was "an incredibly dangerous threat to the public".

Anthony Sowell appeared in court briefly, represented by a court-appointed defense lawyer, Kathleen DeMetz.

She argued her client should be granted bail because of a heart condition which forced him to wear a pacemaker.

The court appearance came a day after police said they had possibly found another four bodies and a skull on the property.


Anthony Sowell, 50, was also charged with rape, assault and kidnapping

The bodies of six African-American women where found there last week. Coroners have ruled five of them were strangled.

Police Chief Michael McGrath said the latest bodies were found buried in the back garden of the house, in the city of Cleveland, and the skull was in a bucket in the basement.

Addressing a news conference, he said detectives were searching the home and backyard for further evidence. "It appears that this man has an insatiable appetite that he had to fill," Mr McGrath said.

The BBC's North America correspondent Matthew Price says the nondescript wooden house on a residential street is slowly giving up its secrets.

Our correspondent says people living nearby held a vigil outside the house this week, in memory of those found so far.

Some clutched photographs of women who have gone missing from the area in recent years.

Mr Sowell - who spent 15 years in prison after being convicted of attempted rape - was arrested on Saturday not far from his home.

5 Nov, 2009: An earlier version of this story stated that Anthony Sowell had been convicted of a 1989 rape. He was in fact convicted of attempted rape, and served 15 years in prison.

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