A New Jersey man used dating apps to lure three women to their deaths five years ago was sentenced Wednesday. It was revealed that one victim’s friends did their own investigation on social media to find the suspect.
Khalil Wheeler Weaver, 25, was motionless as the judge read the sentence in Newark state court. Family members of victims Robin West, Sarah Butler and others made emotional statements before the sentencing.
Wheeler-Weaver made a short statement before speaking, denying responsibility and telling Superior Court Judge Mark S. Ali he was framed. Wheeler-Weaver’s aunt, mother, and brother were present in the gallery, but did not address the court.
Three murders and one attempted murder were included in the sentences. Other charges include kidnapping and aggravated arson.
Friends of Butler, a Montclair college student, were credited by the Essex County prosecutor’s Office with using social media to help police locate Wheeler-Weaver. According to prosecutors, they gained access to Wheeler-Weaver’s social media accounts and set up a fake account. They lured Wheeler Weaver to Montclair, where she was notified by police.
The fourth victim, a woman who survived an attack but testified at Wheeler Weaver’s trial, also gave crucial information that assisted investigators. Her attack was similar to the others.
Tiffany Taylor, who was sentenced Wednesday, described how the attack had changed her life.
“My whole life has changed. I no longer wear makeup and I don’t have friends. I’m always paranoid. She said she was happy to be here, but that she is paranoid.
At trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Wheeler-Weaver was then 20 and used dating apps to seduce women. Then, he strangled them. The bodies of the victims were discovered in northern New Jersey between September 2016 and December 2016. Wheeler-Weaver’s cellphone also provided evidence that Wheeler-Weaver was the one who placed him in the exact spot where the victims vanished and where their bodies were discovered.
Adam Wells, Assistant Essex County Prosecutor, noted Wednesday that the murders were separated by several weeks. This gave Wheeler-Weaver an opportunity to think about his actions before he kills again.
“The defendant believed that these victims were disposable.” He said that he killed them and went about his day as though nothing had ever happened.” “But each of these women’s lives mattered.”
West, a Philadelphia teenager, was seen in a car with Wheeler–Weaver on the night of August 31, 2016. He was then killed within hours, prosecutors stated. Wheeler-Weaver, prosecutors claimed, dumped West’s body in an abandoned Orange house near Newark and then set fire to it. It took two weeks for her remains to be identified.
Anita Mason, West’s mother, described West as a strong young woman but with a soft side.
Mason stated Wednesday that Mason will always remember her smile, her face and her willingness to help homeless people. The world is focused on her last month. Before her death, she had lived a full life. Her death touched hundreds of people.
Joanne Brown (33), of Newark was murdered about a month after West had been identified. Her body was also found in an Orange house abandoned six weeks later. Butler disappeared in November 2016, approximately a month after Brown was murdered. Her remains were found in a wooded area just four days before Brown was discovered. Both women were strangled with clothes.
Victor Butler, Butler’s dad, asked the judge to sentence Wheeler-Weaver to the maximum sentence on Wednesday. Turning to the defendant, he said, “
“I hope that you suffer, boy. Every night.”