Todd Kohlhepp, a South Carolina real estate businessman, pleaded guilty on Friday to the murders of seven people as well as a number of other charges.
Kohlhepp, 46, admitted to the killings after a missing woman was found chained by the neck inside a shipping container on his property in Spartanburg County, CBS News reported. Authorities said Kala Brown had been kidnapped two months earlier when Kohlhepp shot her boyfriend Charles Carter in front of her, according to the network.
Kohlhepp also confessed to killing four people at a motorcycle shop in 2003, including owner Scott Ponder, his mother Beverly Guy, service manager Brian Lucas and mechanic Chris Sherbert, when the manager made him angry. Another couple, Johnny Coxie and Meagan McGrow-Coxie, were killed after being hired to work on his property in 2015, NBC News reported.
Kohlhepp avoided the death penalty with his guilty plea. South Carolina has not used the death penalty since 2011 because it said it didn’t have access to lethal injection drugs, CBS News reported. He will serve seven consecutive life sentences for the murders, plus 30 years for sexual assault on Kala Brown.
Kohlhepp had served 14 years in prison in Arizona after pleading guilty to kidnapping a 14-year-old neighbor at gunpoint and raping her when he was 15. He moved to South Carolina in 2001 after being released from prison, CBS reported. He reportedly lied about his conviction in order to get his real estate license in South Carolina.
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