In SummaryKhalil Wheeler-Weaver will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he used a fake dating profile to lure and kill three women and attack another between August and November of 2016.
Trigger Warning: This story contains content that may be sensitive for some.
Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, a New Jersey man who lured and killed three women using a fake dating app five years ago, has been sentenced to 160 years in prison, or life, per the Associated Press.
Prosecutors say Wheeler-Weaver, 25, set up a fake dating profile to lure and kill 20-year-old Sarah Butler, 19-year-old Robin West and 33-year-old Joanne Brown. He was indicted in 2016 on three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated arson and desecration of human remains charges.
The murders were reportedly committed between August and November of 2016. Wheeler-Weaver was arrested in December of that year after one of Butler’s friends gained access to her social media accounts, then set up a phony profile to lure her killer to police.
Prosecutors Adam Wells and Theodore N. Stephens II of Essex County made a point of highlighting Wheeler-Weaver’s victims in addition to the heinous crimes he committed within weeks of each other.
The suspect, then 20, was accused of using dating apps to lure women for sex and then strangling them to death. Bodies of the victims were found in northern New Jersey between September and December, with investigators showing smartphone evidence placing Wheeler-Weaver in the area where the victims went missing and where their bodies were discovered.
“The defendant believed these victims were disposable. They were killed and then he went on about his day as if nothing had happened,” said Wells, per AP. “But each of these women’s lives mattered.”
Tiffany Taylor, a fourth victim who survived a similar attack by Wheeler-Weaver and says it left her completely paranoid and without friends, was one of the more than 40 witnesses who testified throughout the trial.
Following the sentence, Complex’s Joshua Espinoza reported Stephens said, “The four were bright lights. Three had their lights extinguished forever. The fourth, while she survived, has forever had her life changed,” adding now “they and their families received a measure of justice.”
Despite his “sympathy for the victims,” Wheeler-Weaver pleaded not guilty to the allegations and maintains his innocence, claiming he was set up.
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