Carjack killer gets third life sentence for pregnant girl's murder

Carjack killer gets third life sentence for pregnant girl's murder

Credit: KGW photo

Shawn Womack in court

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by By kgw.com and AP Staff

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 11:38 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A killer already set to live out his life in prison got a third life sentence Friday for murdering his accomplice's pregnant girlfriend because she knew too much.

On Wednesday 23-year-old Shawn Womack was sentenced for killing Chai Taphom, 28, and Michael Burchett, 38, after looking for robbery victims outside a Portland video store in June, 2006.

Womack stole the cars of the two victims with his accomplice, Cevelino Capuia, who was later arrested on an unrelated robbery charge and is now awaiting trial in connection with the murders.

Womack admitted he had threatened to kill Capuia and his pregnant 17-year-old girlfriend, Marissa Manwarren, if they told anybody about the two carjackings and murders.

Background:

On Friday Womack was sentenced in Benton County to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He will serve that consecutively with the same sentence for the other two murders out of Multnomah County.

The wives of both victims made statements in court on Wednesday, but the room was filled mostly with the family and friends of Burchett, an ex-Marine and father of two daughters.

His widow, Sara Burchett, said she was eight months pregnant with their second daughter when police officers came to her door to tell her that her husband had been shot and killed in a robbery.

After Capuia was arrested, Womack told police that he gave $200 to Manwarren to buy him drugs from a house in North Portland and when she returned without the money or drugs, he took her to Corvallis against her will, the documents said.

Womack said he then took her out of the car and shot her twice in the head, loaded her body in the trunk of the Honda and dumped her body in a wooded area near Bethany Beach in Newport. He then put her body in the trunk of the car, and drove to the Oregon coast near Newport to dump the body.

In a chilling admission contained in the plea agreement, Womack said, "I had told Mr. Capuia that it's better not to leave witnesses and that we may end up killing the victims."

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