Kamp pleads guilty in Waring murder, but mentally ill

Published: Mar. 21, 2011 at 8:09 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM EDT
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Heather Kamp testifies at Ethan Mack's murder trial last summer.
Heather Kamp testifies at Ethan Mack's murder trial last summer.
Heather Kamp testifies at Ethan Mack's murder trial last summer.
Heather Kamp testifies at Ethan Mack's murder trial last summer.
Heather Kamp, left, and Kate Waring
Heather Kamp, left, and Kate Waring

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Heather Kamp pleaded guilty Monday, but mentally ill, on a murder charge in connection with the killing of Kate Waring.

Kamp plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other charges back in August in connection with Waring's death, but the deal was taken off the table after authorities said she lied.

Kamp, 31, testified during Ethan Mack's trial for Waring murder last summer, explaining how she met Waring and describing how she was killed. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the murder charge facing Mack, Kamp's husband, therefore the judge declared a mistrial.

Jurors found Mack guilty on obstruction of justice and forgery charges. He was been sentenced to 10 years in prison on the obstruction charge, and five years on the forgery charge.

Waring, 28, vanished on June 12, after she went to a West Ashley gym, a CVS pharmacy and a Japanese steak house. Surveillance video captured her at the George Street pharmacy at around 8 p.m.

Four days after Waring went missing, Mack and Kamp told investigators at around 11:45 p.m. They had dropped off Waring at her Murray Boulevard home in Downtown Charleston.

Kamp testified during Mack's trial 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.

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."

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