Indictment: Man who blamed devil for Pennsylvania murders killed 4 more in NJ
ELIZABETH — A city man who told authorities the devil sent him on a shooting spree in Pennsylvania, was indicted Tuesday on charges he murdered three people in New Jersey in one day and his cousin a month earlier.
Todd West, 24, was charged in July 2015 for allegedly killing city residents Dennis Vega, 28, Jamil Payne and Kelvin Nelson, 32, as well as his 29-year-old cousin Michael Thompkins.
Vega, Payne and Nelson were all shot to death on June 25, 2015 using a .38 caliber, six-shot revolver, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said. Investigators at the time said West drove around in a white, 2013 Buick LaCrosse, killing each victim between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 11 p.m.
An arrest warrant for the murder of Payne later set off an "intensive manhunt" for West, prosecutors said.
West was also indicted for allegedly attempting to murder 24-year-old city man Richard Marte, who on June 25 was found alive but suffering from gunshot wounds.
A month earlier, West's cousin Thompkins was found shot to death lying in a second-floor hallway of his apartment building. The death was later traced to West.
After those killings, West traveled to Pennsylvania and killed three people over the July 4th weekend: Kory Ketrow, 22, in Easton, and Allentown residents Trevor D. Gray, 21, and Francine E. Ramos, 32, authorities say. West was apprehended a day later and later told investigators that the devil forced him to murder, according to reports at the time.
Three months ago, West avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty in Lehigh County Court on Oct. 27 to three counts of first degree murder in relation to the Pennsylvania killings.
West has been sentenced to three consecutive life terms of imprisonment without the possibility of parole and will be transferred back to New Jersey, though it is unclear when.
More from New Jersey 101.5: