Steven Richard Mulkey, a 32-year-old man originally from Fort Payne, has been found guilty of Capital Murder for the September 2018 slaying of an elderly Birmingham couple and he has been sentenced to death in Jefferson County Circuit Court.
During the trial, prosecutors showed a 15-minute security video of Mulkey using a hammer to bludgeon 77-year-old Ching Kao and his wife Siumei Kao, 75, owners of the Siesta Motel in Irondale, where Mulkey worked as a handyman.
More than a week later, the the couple’s bodies were found wrapped in blankets in a secluded area off of Rex Lake Road in Leeds, and their car was found at a Birmingham Econo Lodge where Mulkey had been living.
U.S. Marshalls captured him in Virginia after he fled the state.
The defense claimed Mulkey suffered from behavioral problems at an early age that led to him living in group homes and institutions, that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD and ADHD and that he began using drugs and alcohol around age 12.
Taking the stand in his own defense, Mulkey testified he remembered having an argument with the couple over money they owed him for cutting grass but couldn’t remember the killings at all.
(Fort Payne Times Journal)