WOODRUFF, S.C. — An attorney who previously represented Todd Kohlhepp when he was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a teen in 1987 spoke out Thursday about the new allegations against him.
Kohlhepp is facing another kidnapping charge and multiple murder charges after a woman was found chained up in a storage container on his property. His subsequent arrest led to a confession of involvement in the 2003 Superbike killing that remained unsolved for more than a decade.
The remains of homicide victims Charlie Carver, Megan Coxie and Johnny Coxie were also uncovered in graves on Kohlhepp’s nearly 100-acre Woodruff property. Their deaths remain under investigation.
Attorney Allen Bickart, who has been practicing law for more than 60 years, said when he defended Kohlhepp, he did not believe his client would go on to harm others.
“No indication that he was a Bundy or like anybody that would shoot up a movie theater or anything like this,” Bickart said. “Those things had not happened when this happened.”
Bickart described Kohlhepp as an extremely intelligent teenager, which was echoed by multiple physicians who evaluated Kohlhepp at the time of the trial.
He said Kohlhepp’s only concern while on trial was with how much time he would end up serving. He was incarcerated in Arizona until 2001 after pleading guilty to the kidnapping charge.
“He just was very very mixed up and screwed up in his childhood. That is what he told me,” Bickart said. “He apparently had difficulty with his father and his father had put him up for adoption. He acted out of anger.”
According to psychiatric records made public in the trial, Kohlhepp’s anger manifested itself violently toward animals and other children. Those interviewed by authorities at the time said the disturbing behavior included trapping a child in a dog cage, killing a goldfish with Clorox and shooting a dog with a BB gun.
Bickart, however, said his record did not indicate potential for the crimes in which he is now accused.
“There is no way to be clairvoyant and know that he would become a serial killer,” he said.