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He broke in to an 89-year-old's home to rape and rob her. Hours later, he came back to kill her.

sc rape murder
Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections; Unsplash

Jan. 8 2022, Published 2:23 p.m. ET

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A man raped and robbed an 89-year-old woman in her South Carolina home. Later that same night, he returned to her home and slit her throat.

Now, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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Last month, a judge in South Carolina sentenced Thomas James Chapman to life in prison for the killing of 89-year-old Alice Karr. Chapman pleaded guilty to murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of first-degree burglary and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, according to the 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Late on April 11 and early April 12, 2020, Chapman broke into Karr’s home in Pickens County, South Carolina, according to the solicitor’s office. He strangled the elderly woman and sexually assaulted her.

Chapman then took money from her and fled the scene.

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Hours later, he returned and broke in to her home again — this time with a large knife. He then cut Karr’s throat.


Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark spoke in 2020 after Karr’s death, according to the Greenville News. He said he knew Karr since he was a child and played with her children. He added she was a beloved community member.

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"Everybody loved her because she was a great Christian lady and she showed it every day," Clark said, according to the Greenville News. "A situation like this stuns a community."

Clark said Chapman lived near the victim.

During Chapman’s arraignment in 2020, Karr’s family told a judge they awaited the day where the focus could be on the 89-year-old’s life instead of her death, according to WYFF.

"Our hope, our expectation is justice will be served on behalf of Alice Karr," a family member said, WYFF reported. "And when justice is served the focus turns to Alice's life and not to her death."


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