A man in Seattle, US, has admitted the rape and stabbing of a lesbian couple, claiming that “God told” him to do it.

Isaiah Kalebu, 25, is accused of breaking into the couple’s home in July 2009 and and torturing and raping them repeatedly before stabbing them.

One of the women, Teresa Butz, 39, died in a pool of blood in the street outside her home as neighbours tried to help.

Her 36-year-old partner survived and identified Kalebu as the attacker. Friends said the pair planned to marry soon.

Kalebu is accused of aggravated murder, first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, first-degree rape and first-degree burglary.

The Seattle Times reports that while his lawyers argue he is not guilty, Kalebu told the courtroom on Wednesday: “I was there and I was told by my God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to attack my enemies, and I did so.”

Due to “disruptive behaviour” at past court appearances, he was wheeled into the room wearing a shock sleeve, restraints and oversized gloves designed to stop him putting things in his mouth.

Previously, he was treated in hospital after swallowing a pencil.

Although he is not using a defence of mental incompetence, he has a history of mental illness, which means prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

If convicted, he faces life in prison.