Judge sets Feb. 24 trial for Cleveland double-murder suspect charged in slayings years ago

A Feb. 24 trial has been scheduled for a convicted sex offender charged with two murders and 173 counts of rape in Cleveland.

The judge set the date Monday for 49-year-old Elias Acevedo (ah-seh-VAY'-doh) over the objections of defense attorneys who asked for more preparation time.

Judge Michael Donnelly says he would consider delaying the trial if the defense shows sufficient reason.

Acevedo, who appeared in court with his ankles and wrists in manacles, has pleaded not guilty. The murder charges involve the deaths of a neighbor in 1994 and another woman in 1995.

Prosecutor Blaise Thomas, responding to a question from the judge, says a videotaped statement by the defendant includes an admission. The prosecutor didn't elaborate and wouldn't say after court if the admission amounted to a confession.