Kamp charged with murder, plea agreement thrown out
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The key witness in Ethan Mack's trial for the murder of Kate Waring took the stand to testify against her ex-boyfriend Wednesday.
Heather Kamp told jurors about the chilling final moments of Waring's life and how she and Mack disposed of Waring's body.
It was also revealed in court Wednesday that Kamp's plea agreement of voluntary manslaughter has been pulled from the table because she continued to lie to investigators. Now, she faces murder charges and a possible sentence of 30 years to life without parole.
Kamp was on the stand for over four hours and she remained calm the entire time, until momentarily shedding tears towards the end of the day. Kamp explained how she met Waring and got into the details of how she was killed.
Kamp, who in August pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other charges in connection with Waring's death, was not wearing a jail jumpsuit in court. Kamp, 31, is being held at the Charleston County jail.
On Wednesday, she testified that she has been a scam artist for most of her life and told Waring she was a doctor and could possibly get her a job at MUSC.
Kamp testified that Waring introduced her to Mack and that the two quickly fell in love. Kamp said Mack got tired of Waring tagging along all the time and on June 12, 2009, Kamp said she and Mack killed Waring at their James Island apartment, tricking Waring into playing a game with her suitcase.
"I bet her 20 bucks she couldn't fit in," Kamp said. "She was laughing about it."
Kamp said they then used a stun gun, hit her over the head with a wine bottle and then put her unconscious body in the bathtub to drown.
"He takes the taser and starts tasing her bad. Tasing her and tasing her," Kamp said.
Kamp said that Waring was asking for help and calling out Kamp's name.
"He told me to come over there and hold the suitcase down and I was tasing her," Kamp said. "He unzipped the suitcase and shoved a pillow in there but it was too bulky. Then he hit her on the head with the wine bottle twice and it broke."
Kamp said that Mack then told her to run a bath.
"I had a pretty good guess why," Kamp said. "He pulled the suitcase into the bathroom."
According to Kamp's testimony, Mack grabbed her and put her in the tub.
"She was still alive," Kamp said. "She was breathing bubbles, but she was not awake."
Kamp said they then went through items in Waring's bag. They took a pair of sunglasses, a ring and a key ring.
"All of her stuff out of her bag was dumped out on the floor," Kamp said. "Ethan was texting on her phone."
Kamp said that Mack sent text messages from Waring's phone to himself. All of this, according to Kamp, is after Waring was dead in the tub. Kamp said that next they went to Bi-Lo and Waring was still in the tub. Mack went inside alone.
"He bought a mop, gloves, rubber dish gloves," Kamp said.
When they got back to the house, Kamp said, Mack undressed Waring and they took the jewelry and put it in a bag and put her clothes in another bag.
Kamp said they pulled Waring out of the tub and Kamp cleaned the bathroom while Mack slept for a while. Waring was wrapped up on the kitchen floor. Then, Kamp said Mack pulled the rental car up to the door and they carried Waring's body to the trunk.
"I pulled down the back seat while he pushed her in as far as he could," Kamp said.
Kamp said they drove to Wadmalaw because Mack knew a place where they could put her. On the drive, Kamp said they were talking about where to put her and that neither of them was panicking. She said they arrived around 8 a.m. in "broad daylight."
Kamp told the court that they drove down a trail as far as they could get the car. They carried the body 30 feet.
"It felt like it was forever when we were carrying the body," Kamp said. "She was dead weight and I couldn't take it anymore."
According to Kamp, she and Mack plotted from inside the Charleston County jail how to try to beat the charges. Kamp told the court that she and Mack were able to pass letters to each other from behind bars. They used phony names because it is illegal for co-defendants to communicate. Kamp talked about a letter from Mack about how she was supposed to quote "have his back."
Kamp said that on Monday, Mack took the $4,500 check to the bank. Kamp admitted to forging the check. She said that Mack went to First Carolina Federal, but they wanted to hold it so he left and went to Bank of America.
The Bank of America wouldn't take the check either and called Kate Waring and her father, Tom Waring to get authorization.
Four months after Waring's murder, Kamp led private investigators to her remains in a gated community on Wadmalaw Island. In court, Kamp said she and Mack got married on Oct. 6 2009, but that Mack's mother never took the paperwork to probate court. Wednesday would have been the couple's first anniversary.
Mack's mother was asked to leave the courtroom during Kamp's testimony after an emotional outburst.
During cross examination, the defense showed Kamp several letters, one of the letters detailed the imagined job Kamp told Waring she would provide her at MUSC.
The trial will resume Thursday at 9:30 a.m. as the defense will cross examine Kamp. The defense is expected to go after Kamp's credibility based on her history of forgery and lying.
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