Todd Kohlhepp, the former real estate agent turned accused serial killer, is expected to appear in court next week.
Kohlhepp is charged in a string of killings in the Upstate, some of which date back more than a decade. The cases began to unravel last November, when deputies found Anderson resident Kala Brown chained alive in a storage container on Kohlhepp's land near Woodruff and discovered the body of her boyfriend, Charles David Carver, on the same land.
Carver's stepfather, Jaye Shiflet, told the Independent Mail on Friday that his family has been contacted by officials connected to the Kohlhepp court case and told that there will be a hearing in Spartanburg on May 26. Shiflet said he and Carver's mother, Joanne Shiflet, do not know any specifics of the court proceedings.
"We don't know what it's about," Shiflet said. "We just pray daily for strength, because we don't know what's going to happen, and we never thought we would experience something like this in our family."
Murray Glenn, a spokesman for the 7th Circuit Solicitor's Office, would not comment Friday on Kohlhepp's expected court appearance, except to say that it is "not set in stone yet" and that he is "trying to protect the integrity of the court."
Prosecutors have not yet said whether they will seek the death penalty against Kohlhepp, who is charged with seven counts of murder.
Along with Carver's death, Kohlhepp is accused of killing husband and wife Johnny and Meagan Coxie, who disappeared from Spartanburg in December 2015. Kohlhepp has also confessed to the Superbike Motorsports killings in Chesnee in 2003. Superbike workers Scott Ponder, Beverly Guy, Brian Lucas and Chris Sherbert's killings went unsolved until Kohlhepp confessed to them last year.
Brown and Carver, who shared an apartment in Anderson, went to Kohlhepp's property in Woodruff late last August believing he wanted them to do some cleaning and clearing for him, according to investigators.The couple was missing for more than two months before deputies found Brown.
Kohlhepp's attorney, 7th Circuit Public Defender Clay Allen, also declined to discuss the nature of the upcoming court proceeding.
"I make it my practice not to comment on cases that are pending," he said.
The expected Kohlepp court action comes as a bill to expand and toughen background checks on real estate agents awaits the signature of Gov. Henry McMaster.
The measure was taken up by the South Carolina General Assembly after the Independent Mail and other media outlets reported that Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender, handled real estate transactions in the Upstate for 10 years without drawing serious scrutiny from state regulators.
Records obtained by the Independent Mail through the Freedom of Information Act show that two complaints against Kohlhepp, including one from 2009, were never assigned to investigators connected to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. A third complaint made in 2014 and was investigated and dismissed.