Three lawsuits have been filed against a sports store which sold the weapons South Carolina serial killer Todd Kohlhepp used to kill his victims.
The families of Charlie Carver, Meagan Coxie and Johnny Coxie filed lawsuits against Academy Sports this month, according to WLTX in Columbia, South Carolina. Cindy Coxie, mother of Johnny, said in her lawsuit that the store broke federal gun sale laws by selling five weapons in a 10-month period to a man named Dustin Lawson, who later sold those weapons to Kohlhepp. The suit claims that Lawson’s choice of weapons, the fact he used cash and how nervous he was were all red flags the store should have noticed.
Academy Sports is a sporting goods discount store chain with more than 200 locations. They have unsuccessfully tried to dismiss at least one of the complaints made against them, arguing they are not liable for what Lawson did with the guns. They claim he lied on documents and to store employees, Greenville News reports.
Attorneys from the Brady Center and Campaign to End Gun Violence, a national nonprofit which focuses on gun control, are representing the families in all three suits, according to the Greenville News report.
Kohlhepp, a former realtor, was convicted in 2017 of murdering seven people, including four –– Beverly Guy, Scott Ponder, Brian Lucas and Chris Sherbert –– at a motorcycle shop in 2003. He pleaded guilty to the murders and in turn was spared the death penalty. He’s currently serving seven consecutive life sentences.
He was arrested in 2016 after a woman was found chained up inside a shipping container on his property. That woman, Kala Brown, also witnessed Kohlhepp shoot and kill her boyfriend, Charles Carver, whose body was later found on Kohlhepp’s 96-acre property, along with the bodies of Meagan and Johnny Coxie. Brown said that Kohlhepp told her that he's killed close to 100 people.
Last year, the killer penned an eight-page letter to a publication in his state, the Herald-Journal, claiming he has killed others. Last summer, law enforcement searched a wooded area where Kohlhepp claimed he buried two more bodies. None were found.
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