Kamp pleads guilty, mentally ill

Heather Kamp also pleaded guilty to forgery and obstruction of justice. (File Photo)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Heather Kamp appeared in court nearly two hours behind schedule. She frequently glanced at the several cameras waiting for her.

She's been there before. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last year for the 2009 death of Kate Waring. Investigators tossed that out today after they say Kamp violated that plea by lying to investigators.

Monday she also pleaded guilty, but mentally ill to murder, forgery and obstruction of justice in the 2009 case that made national headlines.

Waring went missing in June 2009 and her remains were found four months later in a wooded area on Wadmalaw Island. That's when the missing person's case became criminal and Charleston Police arrested Heather Kamp and Ethan Mack in connection to her disappearance and death.

Charleston Police knew Waring visited a downtown CVS and they knew she went to dinner with friends Ethan Mack and Heather Kamp that night.

Police say Mack tazed Waring and hit her repeatedly over the head with a wine bottle until she became unconscious. They say he and Kamp put her in a bathtub until she drowned. Then, they say the pair dumped her body on Wadmalaw Island. She remained missing for several months until private investigators, hired by the Waring family, found the skeletal remains.

Monday's guilty plea comes after Kamp lost her chance at the plea deal she violated. Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Kamp lied to during the process of the investigation and told the jury during the Ethan Mack trial that Kamp would not get off the hook and would pay for her crimes.

Monday, during Kamp's new plea, her attorney Frank Cornely told a judge Kamp is suffering from psychological disorders but a forensic psychiatrist says she has improved over the last several months, after meeting with a court appointed counselor.

While Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she did not reach the same conclusion as the state in regards to Kamp's mental status, she said she would not fight the plea. Wilson said there is no difference in the "mentally ill" statute in terms of sentencing and that Kamp will still be housed within the Department of Corrections.

"We didn't necessarily agree with that finding by her psychiatrist but it makes no difference in the Department of Corrections as far as the amount of time she spends there," Wilson said Monday.

Kamp will not be sentenced until if and when she testifies in the trial of Ethan Mack, the man accused of also killing Waring. Kamp last testified against him in his trial in October, which ended in a hung jury. Solicitor Wilson says the trial is expected to move forward. We're told it will happen in April.

Mack's attorney, David Aylor says Mack is aware of Monday's plea.

"At this point in time the case is still moving forward," Aylor said.


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