BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) - The attorney for a Brockton man accused of killing two people and critically injuring a third person said Thursday that his client was "cold as ice" and not criminally responsible during a racially motivated spree of violence in 2009.
Keith Luke, 26, is accused of raping and shooting a 22-year-old former neighbor at her apartment on Jan. 21, 2009, and fatally shooting her 20-year-old sister, then shooting to death an unrelated 72-year-old man walking down the street. Luke allegedly told police he wanted to kill "nonwhites." His victims were of Cape Verdean descent.
Attorney Joseph Krowski Jr. said in his opening statement Thursday in Plymouth Superior Court that his client has a history of mental illness including several hospitalizations as a teenager, and "was not criminally responsible for the acts he perpetrated upon those people."
Krowski said Luke was cold and dispassionate when he raped one victim, and "cold as ice" as he killed the other young woman, then coolly drove down the street before he killed 72-year-old Arlindo Dipina Goncalves.
But prosecutor Frank Middleton said Luke was "a sexually frustrated, angry young man bent on revenge," for rejections by women. The prosecutor displayed several items including a hammer, gags and handcuffs he said were tools Luke gathered to torture and kill his intended victims.
"His plan as he indicated to police over and over was not to use the gun when he went into his victims houses," Middleton said. "He wanted to kill them manually, he wanted to kill them stealthily, he wanted to use this hammer."
Luke also allegedly fired at several people trying to help one of his victims.
He was arrested after a brief chase during which he allegedly fired on police officers. No officers were injured.
In early court hearings after his arrest, Luke appeared with a swastika carved on his forehead. He allegedly told police he was "fighting extinction" of the white race and also planned to attack a synagogue near his home.