Prosecutors are revealing text messages received by Sarah Butler, a 20-year-old New Jersey college student, during the opening of her alleged murderer’s trial.
23-year-old Khalil Wheeler-Weaver is accused of killing three Black women and attemping to murder a fourth in the fall of 2016. Butler was allegedly Wheeler-Weaver’s last known murder victim and it was her phone and family that resulted in him being caught.
Less than two hours before Butler and Wheeler-Weaver initially met on November 19, 2016, the defendant searched the internet for information about date rape drugs and creating poison.
According to NJ.com, prosecutors claim Wheeler-Weaver solicited Butler for sex on the social media app Tagged, offering her $500.
“Wow, You’re not a serial killer, right?” Butler responded to the request via the app.
Butler’s body would be found in New Jersey’s Eagle Rock Reservation nature reserve covered by leaves and debris. She’d been strangled to death, according to an autopsy.
Wheeler-Weaver’s cell phone searches of deadly poisons and attempts to contact other women for sex were heard in a full day of testimony in Newark’s Superior Court on Thursday (November 7).
19-year-old Robin West and 33-year-old Joanne Browne were Wheeler-Weaver’s other two alleged victims. Another woman, referred to as T. In court documents, T was the fourth alleged victim but was able to escape and will be testifying against the alleged killer during his trial.
Butler attended New Jersey City University and was also a lifeguard at the local YMCA. After she disappeared, her friends and family began a sting operation that would lead to Wheeler-Weaver’s arrest and label as prime suspect in her Butler’s murder.
Police set up fake profiles on Tagged promising to meet up with Wheeler-Weaver for sex but when he arrived, he found himself face-to-face with police.
Wheeler-Weaver has admitted he was with all four victims prior to their disappearance but denies he was responsible for their deaths.
The trial is still ongoing.
Photo: Courtesy of Montclair Police Department