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News Scan

Man Pleads to 7 Murders to Avoid Death Penalty:  Todd Kohlhepp, arrested last year for keeping a woman chained in a storage container after killing her boyfriend, has pleaded guilty to murdering 6 others in South Carolina to avoid a death sentence.  CBS News reports that under the plea agreement, Kohlhepp will be sentenced to 7 life terms, plus 60 years for the murders, sexual assault, and other charges.  The woman, who Kohlhepp kept chained for two months as a sex slave, said that he told her "as long as I served my purpose, I was safe."  He was released from an Arizona prison in 2001 after serving 14 years for the kidnap and rape of a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint.  Kohlhepp was 15 when he committed those crimes.

LA Sweep Nabs 188 Criminal Aliens:  A 5-day operation by ICE agents targeting criminal aliens has resulted in the arrest of 188 illegal immigrants, 90% of which had prior convictions.  Sarah Parvini and Joel Rubin of the Los Angeles Times report that those arrested had illegally immigrated from 11 countries with the majority (146) from Mexico.  Among the crimes committed by them were drug dealing, domestic violence, DUI, sexual assault, burglary, fraud, auto theft, larceny, manslaughter, prostitution, and incest.  "By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we're making our communities safer for everyone," said an ICE official.  While nationally arrests by ICE are up 35%, the number of arrests in Los Angeles are about the same as last year. 

Rape Victim Threatened With Deportation:  A Baltimore defense attorney representing an accused rapist is facing charges for intimidating the victim from testifying with threats that she would be deported.  Katie Mettler of The Washington Post reports that in addition to telling the victim that ICE agents would likely be in the courtroom when she testified and "You know how things are with Trump's laws now," attorney Christos Vasiliades offered the woman and her husband $3,000 if she avoided the trial and his client's case was thrown out.  Apparently acknowledging that his client was guilty, he told the couple that instead of participating in the trial, they should track him down and "kick his ass."

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