NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — An East Coast drifter accused of being a serial killer told fellow prison inmates that he killed seven people in Connecticut in 2003, including one victim whose body he kept for two weeks in a van he called the “murder mobile,” according to an arrest warrant released Friday.

William Devin Howell, a 45-year-old native of Hampton, Virginia, also told a cellmate that “there was a monster inside of him that just came out” and described himself as a “sick ripper,” according to the warrant. He said if he wasn’t caught, he was going to go cross-country and kill others, the document says.

The document was released after Howell was arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on multiple murder charges related to six of the killings. Many relatives of the victims attended the brief proceeding and several cried after Howell was brought into the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit, shackled on his arms and legs.

A judge set bail at $10 million for the nine murder charges, but Howell is already serving a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter for killing one of the seven victims. He did speak or not enter any pleas. The case was continued to Oct. 28.

His lawyer urged the public to remember that Howell is innocent until proven guilty.

The bodies of all seven victims were found in a wooded area behind a strip mall in New Britain, about 12 miles southwest of Hartford. Three bodies were found in 2007 and the remaining victims’ remains were found in April.

If convicted of the killings, Howell would be one of the most prolific serial killers in Connecticut history. Michael Ross killed six women in Connecticut and two in New York, and he was executed in Connecticut in 2005. The state no longer has the death penalty.