A Spartanburg County man has pleaded guilty to the murder of seven people over 13 years.
Todd Kohlhepp entered the guilty plea in a state court Friday after prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty. Judge Derham Cole then gave Kohlhepp seven life sentences.
Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said he did not pursue the death penalty because it would lead to trial and at least a decade of legal appeals. “It’s not fair to (the victims’) family members to wait years and years and years for justice,” he told reporters after Kohlhepp’s sentence. Barnette noted South Carolina has not executed an inmate since 2011 due to ongoing appeals and because South Carolina has exhausted its supply of execution drugs with the inability to legally obtain more.
Kohlhepp’s case got national attention last fall after a missing woman Kala Brown was discovered chained inside a container at property he owned in Woodruff. Spartanburg County investigators later found three bodies buried on the property, including Brown’s boyfriend Charlie Carver. The county sheriff’s office said Kohlhepp admitted to killing the individuals. He later admitted to killing four people at a Chesnee powersports store in 2003. The shooting at Superbike Motorsports had been unsolved for more than a decade. [Read more…]