Heather Kamp pleads guilty - Katherine Waring Murder
Heather Angelica Kamp, 31, plead guilty, but mentally ill in the slaying of Katherine Waring. Kamp's attorney, told the judge the plea was appropriate because a forensic psychiatric evaluation found Kamp's borderline personality disorder rendered her incapable of conforming to the law at the time of Waring's killing. The state doesn't necessarily agree with the mental evaluation referenced, but prosecutors saw no need to contest the mentally ill plea. Stating that the potential sentence remains the same under South Carolina law regardless of the distinction.
In 2009, Heather Angelica Kamp and Ethan Mack were arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and forgery in connection to a missing woman named Katherine Waring. Waring was last seen alive on June 12, 2009. Her skeletal remains were located by private investigators on Wadmalaw Island, SC.
Kamp later told detectives that she and Ethan Mack were responsible for the murder of Katherine Waring. Prosecutors gave Kamp a plea agreement for her testimony against Mack. During Mack's trail in October 2010, Kamp's plea agreement was taken away from her because Kamp lied so often. The case against Mack ended when the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the murder charge facing Mack, therefore the judge declared a mistrial.
During the trial the jury did not hear testimony from several witnesses who would have testified about Kamp's character and their personal dealings with her. In an effort to keep the State's case against Mack intact, the prosecution gave Kamp a small amount of protection. Understandably the prosecution wanted to provide the jury with things that were deemed pertinent to the Waring case.
One of the things that Mack's attorney brought up, but was not allowed was an incident 2000, in which Kamp abandoned her sick 2 month old baby at a hospital in California, where she was living at the time.
Kamp left the baby, Orion Uphoff, (pictured left) to go ride roller coasters at Disneyland. Something that the attorney was able to bring up was Kamps's previous arrest in California for armed robbery.
There were a total of three robberies, but as part of a plea agreement, Heather Kamp plead guilty to one charge and the other two were dropped. During this time Kamp was going by Heather Walker (pictured right).
Her mother and sister weighed in on the issue of Kamp's mental health and suitability as a mother at the time. Her mother, Cindy Coffield said that her daughter (age 20 at the time) had a life long history of mental instability. She believed her daughter needed help and she didn't want to see her charged with the crime of child abandonment.
However, her sister and mother (pictured left) both agreed that the child should not be left in her care. Nicole Marleau, Kamp's sister told reporters, "She doesn't deserve the baby," Marleau said. "My mom (Coffield) is a good parent. She will take care of that baby," she added. "I'd rather keep the baby in the family, but not if it means giving it to Walker."
Other people who were told to expect a subpoena included a former boyfriend who had dated Kamp in 2006. On a trip to visit a female friend of Kamp's, she allegedly told him of her plans for both of them to be involved intimately with the other woman during the visit. He stayed in another room of the apartment when Kamp and the woman went into a bedroom. At one point, during the visit, the woman seemed receptive to the man, but shied away from group activities. After Kamp entered the bedroom she exited a short time later, allegedly telling the boyfriend that he could go in the room with her but that her advances had been declined. She seemed angry about this. The next morning the couple was seated on the couch when the other female bent over to get something out of the refrigerator. The former boyfriend intended to testify that Kamp told him "If you wanted to kill her, you could" and later added "No one knows we are here. We wouldn't be caught."
They left the woman's apartment in Indiana without the woman knowing about Kamp's remark. During the trial Kamp was asked about her relationship with the man. She acknowledge it. She was asked if she remembered taking a trip and she said they had. However, when she was asked about the incident she denied it.
Shortly thereafter the man ended the relationship with Kamp. During online conversations Kamp and I became acquainted. We had spoke on the phone a few times. It was during one of those calls that she expressed her hatred for the ex-boyfriend and the woman that he had started seeing. Kamp's plan was to cause him problems and "get even".
She said that he had mentioned that a truck driver had been arrested for killing a prostitute in Oklahoma. It was her plan to call the FBI and say that they had arrested the wrong person. The man was a truck driver and Kamp was going to say her ex-boyfriend had confessed to her that he had committed the murder himself. She said it would be more believable if someone else would back her story up. She believed her plan would work, and in one of the conversations we had she told me that she had an FBI agent's name. She said she believed the man was going to be "getting in touch" with her.
She knew I was getting divorced and in an effort to persuade me to go along with her story, she told me that she would go before a judge and lie. She said that her story would be that my ex-husband had hit me and that he was a violent person. She was going to claim she had witnessed this in person. It didn't matter to her that she had never met me in person and it didn't matter that she had never seen, spoken to, or even heard of my ex-husband in her life. The story was completely untrue and came solely from her imagination.
During questioning on October 5, 2010 she was asked if she knew me. She said that she might have met me online, but not in person. She was asked if she recalled saying those things and she said she did not say it.
Ironically, there were times during the trial that she would say that she couldn't recall some of the details of the Waring case. Some of the things she had done were from less than a year before. However, the questions from 2006, she denied doing or saying at all.
In October 2009 when Kamp was brought in for questioning, she offered the police, investigators, and detectives a proverbial mountain of information. Unfortunately, as they sifted through the information they began to uncover one lie after another. Sifting through the lies to locate the truth has been an endless endeavor. The problem was and remains to be -- did they ever find it?
Ethan Mack's 2nd trial is expected to begin in April 2011. Prosecutor's believe Kamp will continue to be their star witness, although she isn't obligated to cooperate in any way with the trial. The prosecutor is hoping that she will remain cooperative. Her ability to effect the case may be severely limited, however, due to her severely damaged credibility.