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A New Jersey man who used dating apps to seduce and kill three women five years ago was sentenced on Wednesday to 160 years in prison after a trial that revealed a victim’s friends had used social media. Did spy work on the media. suspicious person.

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 25, sat motionless as the judge handed down the sentence in state court in Newark. Emotional statements were made by the family members of victims Robin West and Sarah Butler before the sentencing.

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In a brief statement before speaking, Wheeler-Weaver denied responsibility, telling Superior Court Judge Mark S. Ali that he had been implicated. Wheeler-Weaver’s mother, aunt and brother sat in the gallery but did not address the court.

The punishment included three murders, one attempted murder and kidnapping, aggravated arson and desecration of human remains, among other counts.

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The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office credited the friends of Butler, a college student in Montclair, for using social media to help police find Wheeler-Weaver. According to prosecutors, they gained access to her social media accounts, set up a fake account, lured Wheeler-Weaver to a meeting in Montclair and informed police.

A fourth woman who survived an attack and testified at Wheeler-Weaver’s trial also provided important information that helped investigators, as the details of her assault were similar to those of other victims.

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At Wednesday’s sentencing, Tiffany Taylor described how the attack changed her life.

“My whole life is different; I don’t wear makeup anymore; I don’t have friends. I’m always crazy. But I’m still happy to be here,” she said, before addressing the judge, “I hope you can see her.” Will show no remorse, because he is showing no remorse.”

Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Wheeler-Weaver, then 20, used dating apps to lure women into sex and then strangled them. Their bodies were found in northern New Jersey between September and December 2016. Investigators also presented evidence from Wheeler-Weaver’s cellphone that kept him where the victims disappeared and where their bodies were found.

Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Adam Wells said Wednesday that the killings were separated into weeks, giving Wheeler-Weaver a chance to consider his actions before committing the murder again.

“The defendant believed that these victims were disposable. They were killed and then he went about his day as if nothing had happened,” he said. “But each of these women’s lives matter.”

Prosecutors said West, a 19-year-old from Philadelphia, was seen getting into a car with Wheeler-Weaver on the night of August 31, 2016, and was killed within the next few hours. They alleged that Wheeler-Weaver dumped her body in an abandoned house not far from her own home in Orange, near Newark, and set the house on fire. It took almost two weeks to identify his remains.

Aaliyah, left, and Laverne Butler, Sarah Butler's sister and mother, wear shirts with a photo of Sarah Butler as they make a victim impact statement during sentencing for Khalil Wheeler-Weaver in Newark, NJ, Wednesday, October 6, 2021 Huh.  Wheeler-Weaver, a New Jersey man who used dating apps to lure three women to his death, including Robin West, and attempted to kill a fourth woman five years ago, was sentenced Wednesday to 160 years in prison , because he had declared his innocence.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Poole)

West’s mother, Anita Mason, sometimes described a stubborn young woman who often showed a softer side.

“I will never forget her smile, her face, her walk, her desire to help the homeless,” Mason said on Wednesday. “The world is focused on the last month of his life. He had his whole life before he passed away. Hundreds of people were affected by his life and saddened by his death.”

Joan Brown, 33, of Newark, was killed nearly a month after West was identified and also dumped in an abandoned home in Orange, but her body was not discovered until six weeks later. Butler disappeared around Thanksgiving 2016, about a month after Brown was killed, and his remains were discovered in a wooded area four days before Brown’s body was discovered. Both women were strangled to death with clothes.

On Wednesday, Butler’s father, Victor, urged the judge to give Wheeler-Weaver the maximum sentence. Then, turning to the defendant, he said:

“I hope you suffer every night, boy.”