A North Carolina woman testified in front of her kidnapper, convicted serial killer Todd Kohlhepp, in court on Wednesday, as she seeks $364 million in damages from him for physical assault, battery, and subjecting her to severe emotional distress.
Kala Brown was found chained up in a storage container on the rural property of the so-called Upstate killer in November 2016. Investigators also found the bodies of her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, and couple Johnny and Meagan Coxie buried on the property — helping lead to the conviction of Kohlhepp, who is serving seven life sentences after pleading guilty to the murders of Carver, the Coxes, and four other people shot to death in a bike shop in 2003. Brown has said that she was repeatedly beaten by Kohlhepp during more than two months of confinement after he allegedly used a gun to take her hostage while she was cleaning at his home. She has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Kohlhepp.
In the courtroom, Brown testified about the medical expenses and legal fees she has incurred following her release from captivity. Kohlhepp, meanwhile, chose to represent himself and testified in response to the $26 million in damages being sought by the family of Johnny Coxie. In his comments, the confessed serial killer didn’t deny killing Coxie, but contended that the victim had actually been trying to rob him. Until Kohlhepp’s arrest and confession, the killings had gone unsolved for 13 years.
Brown also appeared before the media following her court appearance, making a brief statement thanking those who had supported her in the wake of her horrific ordeal. “I just want to say thank you to everyone for all the prayers and the work you put into looking for me,” she said. “Anyone out there who ever said a prayer for me, thank you.”
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