Surviving Kohlhepp victim faces convicted serial killer in court

Todd Kohlhepp in court on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

The surviving victim of convicted serial killer Todd Kohlhepp faced her attacker in court on Wednesday.

Kala Brown has filed a civil lawsuit seeking about $360 million in punitive damages, in addition to medical bills and money spent on mental health treatment.

Spartanburg County deputies found Brown chained up in a storage container on Kohlhepp's property in November 2016, where she had been held captive for more than two months.

Kohlhepp is serving seven life sentences after pleading guilty to killing seven people over nearly 13 years in South Carolina, including Brown's boyfriend, Charlie Carver.

In court Wednesday, Kohlhepp represented himself. He was escorted in wearing shackles and a khaki jumpsuit. He did not make any objections, ask any questions or make any closing argument.

Kohlhepp looked at Brown as she recounted her mental and physical suffering to the court.

After the hearing, Brown addressed the media and thanked supporters.

"If it wasn't for everyone out there, I wouldn't be here today," she said. "I want to thank my team, my family and friends, my Dan and my Lindsay."

Lindsay Nichols and Dan Herren, who are friends of Brown, were in court Wednesday to show support.

Nichols described Brown's mental state going into Wednesday's hearing.

"In her eyes, I could see the terror, but she's strong," she said of Brown. "She put on her strong face and walked past him with a look like, 'You didn't destroy me, and you're never going to destroy me again.'"

"I had high anxiety going into the courtroom. It was my first time seeing him in person," Herren said of seeing Kohlhepp in court. "I had to hold myself back. There was a part of me that wanted to issue my own justice on him. He is evil incarnate. He is the devil."

Friends said Brown wants to start working again, possibly in the medical field or in victim advocacy.

The judge did not set a next court date on Wednesday but did say he would be in contact with both parties.

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