ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to randomly killing three Pennsylvania residents as part of a string of shootings that police say also left four New Jersey residents dead told a judge he had no good reason for the slayings.
“I just wanted to kill them,” Todd West, 24, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, said Thursday at his guilty plea and sentencing in Lehigh County.
West shot and killed Francine Ramos, 32, and Trevor Gray, 22, while they were riding in a car in Allentown on July 5, 2015. He said he shot Kory Ketrow, 22, in Easton, about an hour earlier because Ketrow looked “tired.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a case like this,” Common Pleas Judge James Anthony said in sentencing West to three consecutive life sentences. “There doesn’t seem to be any motive here beyond the desire to kill. Just cold-blooded murder.”
West is one of three men charged in the Pennsylvania killings.
Kareem Mitchell, 24, of Newark, New Jersey, and Robert Jourdain, 22, of Easton, are scheduled for trial next year on homicide charges.
Prosecutors contend Mitchell drove around while West picked out his shooting victims. Jourdain is accused of buying the bullets from Wal-Mart shortly before West gunned down Ketrow nearby. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
West is still awaiting trial in New Jersey on charges he killed his cousin in May 2015, then gunned down three other men on June 25, 2015. West is also charged with attempted homicide in another shooting that day.
West’s court-appointed attorney declined to comment after Thursday’s guilty pleas, which West entered after Pennsylvania prosecutors agreed to not pursue the death penalty. West was also fined $150,000 and ordered to pay the victims’ funeral costs.
The victims’ relatives had plenty to say in court, calling West a “coward.”
“He’s a coward. He shot people in the back,” said Richard Bader, Ketrow’s stepfather. “He killed helpless people for no reason.”
“Look at what you did to all these families here,” said Ramos’ aunt, Sandra Dolson. “Look at you, grinning. You’re a coward. Your day will come soon.”
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