Fork-Tongued 'Devil' Pleads Guilty in Gruesome Murder Case Apr 10, 2015 1:11:46 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Apr 10, 2015 1:11:46 GMT -5
Fork-tongued 'Devil' pleads guilty in gruesome murder case
LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. – The closing comment from by prosecutor Randy Newman in the murder plea of David Pate could not have been more blunt. "This is an evil man standing before you. If anyone deserves life in prison, it’s David Pate," Newman said.
Pate, 25, pled guilty to stabbing 33-year-old Ricky James 39 times with a butcher knife, then tying up his body with a rope and leaving him under a pile of leaves. The details of the crime were so disturbing that members of James' family broke down in court and looked away as prosecutors told the story.
Pate and James were both drinking in the early morning hours of October 18, 2013, when Pate lured James to a wooded path behind Mullis Road to kill him. There was no evidence of an argument between the two men, or any motive for the murder. "I didn't know, I thought I might cut his head off," Pate said in a taped interview with deputies later, boasting about what he had done. Pate admitted stabbing James, covering his body with leaves and brush, then going home to wash his blood-covered jacket. He then burned his other clothes in a fire pit outside his home.
Family members immediately filed a missing persons report on James, but it was a month later, on November 16, when children playing found his decomposed remains.
Pate even admitted he may not be finished killing. "I wanted to remember that spot where he was because I may want to kill another person there some day," he said.
A search of his home later turned up dozens of knives and at least 20 homemade masks Pate had made himself. Deputies also found James' belongings. Pate confessed to taking James’ wallet, his belt (which he often wore) shoes and a ring that he sold.
In court Thursday, prosecutors showed a 15-minute video clip of the interview Pate gave to Lancaster County sheriff's deputies in November 2013. He calmly talks about killing James with a big knife, asking deputies if they'd ever heard of the character Michael Myers from the Halloween movies. Pate describes killing James in detail and at one point even blamed the victim for his own death. "It was his fault. Why would anyone go drinking and go into the woods with someone who looks like me?" he reasoned.
Pate had even told his mother how much he remembered of the crime.
"I remember everything, every little thing. I made a point to remember, because I enjoyed it," he told deputies.
On Thursday, two of James' brothers spoke in court."You're a devil! People like you shouldn't be allowed to live on the earth," said Antwon James.
"I hope you suffer. I hope you feel my pain. Give him everything you can give him, and let him suffer," Rayshawn James added.
Pate’s mother was also in the courtroom, but did not speak up for her son.
Judge Dan Hall sentenced Pate to life in prison with no chance for parole, calling the murder a “senseless and remorseless” act.
Pate himself never addressed the James family or offered an apology. A mental health evaluation had earlier found him competent to stand trial, but Pate indicated to his lawyer that he wanted to enter a plea and get it over with.
Outside the courtroom, Rayshawn James said he was relieved Pate will never get out of prison and that he could never understand him. "He really is the devil. There's something wrong with the kid," he said.
Source: WSOC News, April 9, 2015.