Todd Kohlhepp, who is a suspected serial killer, pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder on Friday. Although he was facing the death penalty, the 46-year-old man will be sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole — per a plea agreement. Authorities confirmed the former realtor confessed to killing at least seven people since 2003.
According to reports, Todd Christopher Kohlhepp began exhibiting severe behavioral issues when he was approximately eight years old. Although he was evaluated and treated at the Georgia Mental Health Institute, his disturbing behavior continued into his teens and adulthood.
At the age of 15, Todd Kohlhepp was charged in the kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old girl. As reported by Greenville Online, Todd threatened the girl with a handgun and forced her to walk with him to his parents’ home. He then locked her in his bedroom, restrained her with duct tape and rope, and raped her.
In a police interview, Kohlhepp explained that he was angry because he had a crush on the girl and she only wanted to be friends. He also suggested that he was acting out because “his father was out of town.”
During a subsequent mental health evaluation, a psychologist noted that the teen had a generally “negative” attitude. Throughout the evaluation, Todd reportedly stated that he is a “bad person” who is capable of harming others.
The following year, Todd Kohlhepp was tried and found guilty of kidnapping and raping the 14-year-old girl. He was ultimately sentenced to 15 years in prison.
While incarcerated, Todd attended Central Arizona College and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Following his release from prison, he worked as a graphic designer before pursuing a license to sell real estate. Sacramento Bee reported that the former inmate passed the South Carolina real estate examination in 2006 and opened his own business.
Between 2003 and 2016, Todd Kohlhepp appeared to be a law-abiding citizen with a lucrative career. In addition to obtaining a real estate license, he was granted a private pilot’s license by the Federal Aviation Administration. Todd also saved enough money to purchase 95 acres of land.
In August 2016, Charles Carver and his girlfriend Kala Brown were reported missing. Although authorities had a few leads, including several cryptic ones that appeared on Carver’s Facebook page, the couple’s whereabouts remained a mystery.
— WYFF News 4 (@wyffnews4) May 23, 2017
Three months later, authorities used cell phone records to track Charles and Kala’s phones. The cell tower “pings” led them directly to the property owned by Todd Kohlhepp.
On November 3, 2016, authorities found Kala Brown inside a metal container inside Kohlhepp’s home. According to reports, the woman was bound with chains and had been held captive for at least two months. Although she survived the brutal assault, Brown told authorities she believed Todd killed at least four other people and buried them on his land.
— Anna Lee (@annazlee) May 24, 2017
Authorities ultimately unearthed a total of three bodies on Todd Kohlhepp’s property. The victims were later identified as 29-year-old Charles Carver, 25-year-old Meagan Coxie, and 29-year-old Johnny Coxie.
During a police interview, Todd also confessed to the deaths of four others — who were killed during a 2003 shooting spree at the Spartanburg, County, South Carolina, Superbike Motorsports store. The victims, who were found dead at the scene of the shooting, were identified as Beverly Guy, Brian Lucas, Scott Ponder, and Chris Sherbert.
On Friday, Todd Kohlhepp pleaded guilty to killing his seven known victims. Prior to sentencing, the families of some of his victims spoke before the judge — and expressed the grief they have suffered due to the loss of their loved ones. Although he avoided the death penalty, Todd Kohlhepp will certainly spend the rest of his life in prison.
[Featured Image by Spartanburg County Sheriff/CNN]