BILOXI, Miss. — A drifter who says he has killed more than 60 people pleaded guilty Monday to federal kidnaping charges in the rape and strangulation of a 10-year-old girl. He joked about capital punishment.
Donald Leroy Evans, 34, led police on Aug. 11 to the body of Beatrice Louise Routh, who had disappeared from a Gulfport, Miss., playground 10 days earlier. Mississippi and Louisiana authorities have charged him with murdering the girl, and he could be sentenced to execution if convicted in either state. His lawyer has said that Evans wants to die.
After his arrest Aug. 5 near Covington, La., he confessed to more than 60 killings in 21 states. Most of the slayings have not yet been confirmed.
Evans appeared exasperated at one point during the hearing Monday, and told U.S. District Judge Walter Gex III that he knew his confessions could be used to build other cases against him.
"If you're guilty, you're guilty," Evans said. "There's no sidestepping the issue."
Later, he jokingly asked the judge: "How can you hurt my case? I mean, I'm going to Death Row. What are you going to do, kill me?"
Evans could face a life prison term when he is sentenced Oct. 24 in the federal kidnaping case.
Evans told authorities he killed the girl in Louisiana and dumped her body in Mississippi. Mississippi authorities charged him with murder last week and he was scheduled to appear in a state court today.
Also Monday, Louisiana authorities charged Evans with first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Authorities have yet to decide in which state Evans will stand trial. Walter Reed, district attorney of St. Tammany Parish, said he will seek the death penalty if Evans is tried in Louisiana.
Evans, of Galveston, Tex., so far has been linked only to the Mississippi girl's killing and two Florida homicides in 1985.