New Jersey man charged in 2 murders investigated as possible serial killer

Anthony Johnson Image
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Suspect investigated as possible serial killer
Anthony Johnson has the latest on a New Jersey murder suspect.

MONTCLAIR, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey man already accused of strangling two women is now being investigated as a possible serial killer.

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver is charged in the murders of Sarah Butler and Joanne Browne, and he is considered a suspect in the killing of a third woman.

Authorities say he is tied to a 19-year-old escort whose body was found in a small fire in Orange. The badly burned remains of Robin West was found inside the house after the fire was extinguished back on September 1. She reportedly worked as a prostitute out of a hotel in Union Township and was from Chester, Pennsylvania.

Wheeler-Weaver has pleaded not guilty to both murders in which he is charged.

Brown, 33, was found strangled in a vacant house in Orange two weeks ago. Butler, a 20-year-old New Jersey City University student, was found strangled December 1 at the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange. In that case, Wheeler-Weaver is also charged with disturbing human remains.

It's believed the two women were killed four days apart, and prosecutors have said they have evidence linking the cases, though the motive remains unclear.

Wheeler-Weaver's attorney, Shevelle McPherson, said she hasn't seen any scientific evidence or eyewitness testimony that links her client to the deaths. She says the evidence she has seen is "very circumstantial."

The 20-year-old suspect is the stepson of a former Newark police officer and comes from a law enforcement family. Sources say he worked as a security guard at a shopping store and hoped to become a cop.

He remains jailed on $5 million bail.