National News

Hundreds of pieces of evidence released in serial killer Todd Kohlhepp case

Posted June 12

— The Solicitor's Office released more than 250 exhibits in the case against serial killer Todd Kohlhepp, who confessed in May 2017 to murdering seven victims and kidnapping a woman who was kept locked in a storage container.

The exhibits, which ranged in size from single photos to nearly-200-page documents, contained details on the rescue of Kala Brown and the investigations in the murders of four victims at Superbike Motorsports and three victims found buried on Kohlhepp's rural property.

The evidence was obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Deputy body camera footage released from the Solicitor's Office shows investigators serve warrants at Kohlhepp's home on Windsong Way in Moore on Nov. 3, 2016. After knocking on the door, officials notified Kohlhepp they would need to search his house and vehicle in regards to an investigation into the disappearances of Kala Brown and Charlie Carver.

"These people have not been found," a deputy told Kohlhepp. "You essentially were the last person to have contact with them."

While deputies were at Kohlhepp's home in Moore, more investigators were searching his property on Wofford Road in Woodruff. There, they found Brown chained by her neck in a metal storage container which was sealed with padlocks.

Photo evidence released from inside the storage container where Brown was held captive shows dog beds, chains, handcuffs and person items where Brown was held.

Investigator video showed the moments where crews opened the storage container and rescued Brown. After cutting their way inside using power tools, deputies found Brown chained and bolt cutters were used to free her.

While cutting the chains binding Brown, a deputy asked if she knew where Carver was.

"Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp and put him in the bucket of the tractor. Locked me down here. I've never seen him again," Brown said. "He said he's dead and buried and that there's several bodies dead and buried out here and he says the dogs will be ruined if they go looking because there's red pepper."

A deputy mentioned notifying their K-9 team after Brown said red pepper was spread near the victims' bodies and Carver's car. His vehicle was found covered in debris and oil nearby.

After deputies found Brown on Kohlhepp's property, they arrested him in Moore. When confronted about where Brown was located, Kohlhepp told deputies he had no idea what they were talking about and asked for an attorney.

In audio from a car ride to the detention center, Kohlhepp makes jokes about his family and hoping "that my grandma doesn't come back from the grave to ground me."

"I wasn't ready for you," an investigator told him. "You are much different than I expected."

Later in an interview, he confessed to murdering Beverly Guy, Chris Sherbert, Brian Lucas and Scott Ponder in 2003 at Superbike Motorsports, killing missing couple Johnny and Meagan Coxie in 2015 and gunning down Carver on his property.

In the video, Kohlhepp said he is "not a terrorist."

"I would never do anything against the interest of the United States," Kohlhepp said. "I love my country."

He also said he wouldn't kill an officer, children or the elderly.

Hours of interview videos showed Kohlhepp admitting to killing the Superbike victims after he said they joked about his inability to ride a motorcycle. He had recently purchase a Suzuki from the shop and his name appeared on the customer log.

"They were on the rude side about my inability to ride that kind of bike," Kohlhepp said. "No one ever taught me."

Kohlhepp said no prints were found on the shell casings in the shop because he wore two pairs of gloves when loading firearms, "even in practice."

He said his father raised him with the mentality, "if I got into a fight, if I didn't win, 'you're not my son'."

In one interview tape, Kohlhepp said he didn't think Brown deserved the $25,000 Superbike reward, but rather he did. A letter in the evidence file was sent to Kohlhepp in 2013 asking if he knew anything about the case since he was on the customer log.

During the interviews, Kohlhepp admitted to making his own gun suppressors but said he would never shoot a police officer: "I won't shoot a cop. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I'll take it. But I'm not going to take one of you guys down."

In one of the videos, which takes place shortly before the Spartanburg County sheriff election, Kohlhepp expressed his feelings about Sheriff Chuck Wright.

"I like the Sheriff," Kohlhepp said. "I'll be very surprised if he doesn't win Tuesday."

In a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, Kohlhepp admitted to the crimes and was sentenced to seven life terms without the possibility of parole. Solicitor Barry Barnette said the case was, without a doubt, a capital punishment case, but due to a shortage of lethal injection drugs and the lengthy death penalty process, he agreed with the decision

"I'm not getting out. I know that," Kohlhepp said in an interview tape. "You guys are going to go for death row and I'm OK with that. Just don't drag it out 50 years."

He is currently being held at Kirkland Correctional, a maximum-security prison in Columbia.

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