(Reuters) - An accused serial killer pleaded guilty to seven murders at a court in South Carolina on Friday and was given seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, avoiding the death penalty, local news reports said.
The defendant, Todd Kohlhepp, 46, admitted to chaining a woman inside a storage shed on his rural property for two months and to a 2003 massacre of four people at a motorbike store, among other crimes, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported.
As a part of the plea deal, Kohlhepp agreed not to contest the validity of the conviction in state or federal court and gave up his right to appeal, the newspaper reported.
Lawyers for Kohlhepp and the Spartanburg County prosecutor were not immediately available for comment.
He pleaded guilty to all charges against him, which included the seven murders, kidnapping and sexual assault, the paper said.
The crimes date back to 2003 and the bodies of several of the people killed by Kohlhepp were found on his property.
During the hearing, several family members of the victims sobbed as they spoke to the judge about their loved ones. Kohlhepp, in shackles, showed no emotion, NBC reported.
Kohlhepp was arrested in November on suspicion of chaining a woman inside a storage shed on his rural property. He was subsequently charged with multiple murders.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Lisa Shumaker)