US MAN HELD FOR CHAINING WOMAN AD­MITS 7 KILLINGS

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

MI­AMI: A man who was ar­rested in the US state of South Carolina for hold­ing a woman hostage and “chained like a dog” has con­fessed to up to seven killings, a lo­cal sher­iff said. Spar­tan­burg County Sher­iff Chuck Wright told a press con­fer­ence late Satur­day that war­rants were is­sued charg­ing Todd Christo­pher Kohlhepp with a quadru­ple mur­der that baf­fled po­lice and in­ves­ti­ga­tors for 13 years. Wright said that the sus­pect had also shown au­thor­i­ties two gravesites on his vast prop­erty, in ad­di­tion to one body dug up from a shal­low grave on Fri­day. Kohlhepp was de­nied bond yes­ter­day.

“There’s no won­der­ing any­more” about the Nov 2003 killings at the Su­per­bike Mo­tor­sports in the nearby town of Ch­es­nee, Wright told lo­cal me­dia, in­clud­ing lo­cal ABC af­fil­i­ate WLOS-13 and The Greenville Times. “He told us some stuff that no­body else ought to know,” Wright told re­porters. Four peo­ple - a woman who worked at the store and her adult son, and two other store work­ers - were found “bru­tally mur­dered” for un­known rea­sons at the busi­ness, Wright said. The case was even fea­tured on the TV show “Amer­ica’s Most Wanted”, which has helped crack cold cases in the past. Wright did not men­tion any mo­tive in the case. Kohlhepp ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Judge Jimmy Hen­son yes­ter­day for a 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.”

Kohlhepp, 45, was ar­rested Thurs­day and charged with kid­nap­ping af­ter the woman who po­lice said was “chained like a dog” in­side a ship­ping con­tainer was res­cued from his prop­erty. Kala Brown, 30, was dis­cov­ered with chains around her neck and an­kles trapped in­side the pad­locked con­tainer. Po­lice res­cued her af­ter hear­ing a bang­ing sound when they ar­rived at Kohlhepp’s prop­erty with a search war­rant. Kohlhepp, who owns a 95-acre tract of ru­ral land in the town of Woodruff, north­east of the state cap­i­tal Columbia, is a realestate agent and reg­is­tered sex of­fender. Brown told of­fi­cers she had been in the con­tainer for two months. She and her boyfriend, Charles Carver, 32, had been miss­ing since Au­gust. Brown told po­lice that Kohlhepp shot her boyfriend mul­ti­ple times in the chest in front of her. Sher­iff Wright said Satur­day that au­thor­i­ties iden­ti­fied the body dug up the day be­fore as that of Carver. Kohlhepp how­ever has not yet been charged with Carver’s death, the sher­iff said.

Re­porters, who were kept at a dis­tance, saw Kohlhepp walk agents around the prop­erty on Satur­day. Kohlhepp has been reg­is­tered as a sex of­fender in South Carolina for a 1987 con­vic­tion in Ari­zona, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal WSPA News. He was 15 when he was ac­cused of kid­nap­ping and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a 14-year-old girl. Kohlhepp moved to South Carolina af­ter he com­pleted his prison sen­tence in Aug 2001.

— AP

SPAR­TAN­BURG, South Carolina: Todd Kohlhepp en­ters the court­room for a bond hear­ing at the Spar­tan­burg De­ten­tion Fa­cil­ity yes­ter­day.

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