Homicide

South Carolina man accused of chaining woman 'like a dog' pleads guilty to 7 murders

A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping charges on Friday after he was arrested last year for holding a woman chained "like a dog" inside a storage container; he later was linked to seven murders. 

Todd Kohlhepp, 45, accepted a plea deal that sends him to prison for life without parole, Fox Carolina reported. He faced several charges, including four counts of murder in the 2003 deaths of four people at a motorcycle shop in Chesnee, South Carolina. 

Kohlhepp was eligible for the death penalty, but the plea deal took that off the table.

BOND DENIED FOR SUSPECT IN 7 MURDERS, KIDNAPPING IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Kohlhepp was arrested in November after investigators said they discovered a woman "chained like a dog" inside a metal container on his property. She was raped and held hostage for more than two months, investigators said. The body of the woman's boyfriend, Charles Carter, was later found in the area. 

Kohlhepp later confessed to seven murders within seven months. Search teams began digging on the property after Kohlkepp admitted "to investigators that he shot and killed" the owner, service manager, mechanic and bookkeeper at Superbike Motorsports motorcycle shop in 2003, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff's investigative report. He gave details that "only the killer would know" and pointed authorities to where the bodies were buried. 

He also admitted to killing a husband and wife that was doing work on his property in 2015. 

FORMER PASTOR ACCUSED IN PAWN SHOP SLAYINGS PLEADS GUILTY

Kohlhepp was released from prison in Arizona in 2001 after serving a 14-year prison sentence for raping a 14-year-old neighbor at gunpoint and threatening to kill her siblings if she called police. Kohlhepp had to register as a sex offender.

He still received his South Carolina real estate license in 2006 after lying to people about his felony conviction. He ended up building a successful real estate business. 

Friends and co-workers at Kohlhepp's real estate business said he was a hard worker with some strange habits. He would watch pornographic videos during work and joked on his firm's website that he motivated workers by not feeding them.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.