Academy Sports settles lawsuit with serial killer victims’ families

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX CAROLINA) – Spartanburg County serial killer Todd Kohlhepp has reached a settlement in a lawsuit involving how he obtained the weapon he used to kill multiple victims.

Kohlhepp’s accomplice, Dustan Lawson, was a “straw buyer” who bought weapons and supplied them to the killer. Kohlhepp, who later confessed to killing seven people in the Upstate, was barred from owning a gun after a rape conviction in Arizona in the 1980s.

Mugshot for Dustin Lawson(FOX Carolina News)

The families of Charlie Carver, Megan Coxey and Johnny Coxey, three of Kohlhepp’s victims, filed a lawsuit against Academy Sports in 2019, alleging the store was negligent in selling guns to Lawson despite “red flags.”

Kohlhepp shot Carver and the Coxies from Academy Sports with a shotgun and buried them on his 100-acre property in Woodruff.

Academy Sports filed a motion to unseal the settlement details, however, Circuit Court Judge Mark Hayes denied the motion. The settlement awards $2.5 million to be divided among the three victims’ estates, amounting to approximately $833,333 each less attorney’s fees.

A lawsuit filed by Kohlhepp's victims against Academy Sports could go to trial.
A lawsuit filed by Kohlhepp’s victims against Academy Sports could go to trial.

The settlement prevents the case from going to a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday.

Lawson in 2010 He pleaded guilty in 2018 and was sentenced to federal prison for illegally supplying dozens of guns to Kohlhepp. He was not in court on Monday.

Kohlhepp is serving a life sentence. In addition to Carver and Coxey, Kohlhepp also killed four other victims at Superbike Motorsports in 2003: Scott Ponder, Beverly Guy, Brian Lucas and Chris Sherbert.

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