A New Jersey man accused of killing seven people in two states over a seven-week span this summer could face the death penalty if convicted in Pennsylvania, prosecutors said.
Todd West, 23, is charged in Pennsylvania with homicide and robbery counts in three deaths. Lehigh County prosecutors say he fatally shot a man in Easton and a man and a woman in Allentown on July 5.
Prosecutors, who have said the victims were chosen at random, said in court documents filed last week that West deserves to be put to death if convicted of first-degree murder. West and two co-defendants are scheduled to be formally arraigned on Tuesday.
Investigators said West told them he spotted Kory Ketrow, 22, walking down an Easton street early July 5 and directed a co-defendant to pull their SUV over, then emptied his six-shot, .38-caliber revolver at the victim.
A few minutes later, authorities allege, West opened fire on a motorist stopped at a red light — striking the vehicle but missing the occupants — then headed to Allentown, less than 20 miles away, firing out the SUV's window during the ride.
Authorities allege that he shot two more people minutes after getting to Allentown. Police found Francine Ramos, 32, dead of gunshot wounds in the driver's seat of a car. Her passenger, Trevor Davante Hall-Gray, 21, staggered away and was found leaning against a nearby parked car with gunshot wounds. He died a short time later.
Police have alleged that West also killed his cousin in an apartment building in his hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, on May 18. He is also accused of killing three other victims in Elizabeth on June 25. Authorities have agreed to try West in the Pennsylvania cases first.
Authorities said West told them he heard voices in his head and believed the devil was speaking to him.
Defense attorney Robert Sletvold, who has said he will seek a mental health evaluation of his client, said he wasn't surprised by the decision to seek capital punishment.
"From the beginning, this appeared to be the way the Commonwealth was going to take the case," Sletvold told The (Easton) Express-Times.