A serial killer has pleaded guilty to murdering seven people and has been jailed for life – avoiding the death penalty.
Todd Kohlhepp, 46, admitted to the killings over nearly 13 years during which he ran a successful real estate business.
He was arrested seven months ago when investigators checking on a missing couple rescued a woman chained inside a storage shed on his rural property.
Kohlhepp killed four workers at a motorbike store in 2003. He said he murdered them after the store manager made him angry.
He also admitted guilt in the deaths of a husband and wife – Johnny Joe Coxie, 29, and Meagan, 26 – who were hired to do work on his property and disappeared in December 2015.
Their bodies were found on the property after his arrest.
Kohlhepp was detained when police searching his property heard a woman’s screams coming from a shed.
The woman, Kala Brown, told police that she and her boyfriend had come to the property two months earlier for a cleaning job.
Kohlhepp shot and killed the boyfriend, Charlie David Carver, and then chained her up in the shed where he continued to rape her on a near daily basis.
At a hearing in Spartanburg County, Kohlhepp was confronted by several of the victims’ relatives, who read out emotional statements to remember their loved ones.
Mr Coxie’s mother Cindy spoke of “incomprehensible evil”.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, Kohlhepp will serve seven consecutive life terms plus 60 years on kidnapping, sexual assault and other charges.
Under the plea deal he will not be eligible for parole and will not to appeal the sentence.
(c) Sky News 2017: Serial killer Todd Kohlhepp avoids execution after plea deal