BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A jury unanimously ruled in favor of the death penalty Wednesday for a Birmingham man convicted in the brutal killing of his employers.
Steven Richard Mulkey, 32, was convicted of two counts of capital murder Monday in the deaths of Ching Kao, 77, and Siumei Kao, 76. Mulkey was hired by the Kaos as a handyman for the Siesta Motel, which the couple owned.
The Kaos were reported missing by their daughter in September 2018. Police conducted a welfare check at the motel, where they found blood in the office and surveillance video footage showing the two being beaten.
The Kaos bodies were later found in a wooded area off of Rex Lake Road in Leeds. Documents from the indictment and trial state Mulkey used a hammer to beat them to death.
Lt. Jason Hill from the Irondale Police Department told CBS 42 that he believes the reason for the jury ruling was due to the evidence presented at trial, “overwhelmingly” showcasing the couple’s suffering in their final moments alive.