Man de­nied bond as decade-long se­ries of killings emerges

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

SPAR­TAN­BURG, South Carolina (AP): A SOUTH Carolina man ac­cused of hold­ing a woman chained in­side a stor­age con­tainer was de­nied bond yes­ter­day af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors say he also con­fessed to an un­solved quadru­ple mur­der that hap­pened 13 years ago.

Au­thor­i­ties have charged Todd Kohlhepp, 45, with four counts of mur­der in the deaths of four peo­ple in 2003 at the Su­per­bike Mo­tor­sports mo­tor­cy­cle shop in Ch­es­nee, South Carolina. His al­leged role in those killings was un­cov­ered, au­thor­i­ties said, af­ter the woman was found last week in a locked metal con­tainer on Kohlhepp’s prop­erty in ru­ral Woodruff.

Kohlhepp’s ar­rest has put to rest for lo­cal law en­force­ment and the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims a mys­tery that has haunted them for more than a decade.

“We got ‘em to­day. We got ‘em to­day. I’m re­joic­ing that this com­mu­nity can know that four peo­ple who were bru­tally mur­dered, there’s no won­der­ing about it any­more,” Sher­iff Chuck Wright said late Satur­day night.

AD­DI­TIONAL CHARGES

Kohlhepp is also charged with the woman’s kid­nap­ping, and pros­e­cu­tors say more charges are ex­pected.

A Spar­tan­burg County Sher­iff’s in­ves­tiga­tive report says Kohlhepp “con­fessed to in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he shot and killed” the owner, ser­vice man­ager, me­chanic and book­keeper of the mo­tor­cy­cle shop.

“Kohlhepp gave de­tails ... that only the killer would know,” the report says.

Au­thor­i­ties say Kohlhepp is a sus­pect in at least three other deaths.

Kohlhepp ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Judge Jimmy Hen­son yes­ter­day for the brief bond hear­ing on the four mur­der counts. The is­sue of bond could be taken up by a cir­cuit court later.

Wear­ing an or­ange jump­suit, Kohlhepp

de­clined to make a state­ment when of­fered the chance.

Af­ter Kohlhepp left the court­room, Hen­son ad­dressed the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies say­ing, “What you’ve gone through ... is be­yond what a lot of peo­ple would un­der­stand.”

Wright says Kohlhepp also showed law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers Satur­day where he says he buried two other vic­tims on his 95-acre prop­erty near Woodruff. Wright said there could be more bod­ies.

Those are in ad­di­tion to the body found Fri­day at the site. Au­thor­i­ties iden­ti­fied that vic­tim as 32-year-old Charles Carver, the boyfriend of the woman found Thurs­day. Carver died of mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds.

Carver and the woman went miss­ing around Au­gust 31, and their last known cell phone sig­nals led au­thor­i­ties to the prop­erty. The As­so­ci­ated Press is not nam­ing the woman be­cause the sus­pect is a sex of­fender, though au­thor­i­ties have not said whether she was sex­u­ally as­saulted.

AP

Todd Kohlhepp’s en­ters the court­room of Judge Jimmy Hen­son for a bond hear­ing at the Spar­tan­burg De­ten­tion Fa­cil­ity in Spar­tan­burg, South Carolina, yes­ter­day.

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