Thomas Keeping sentenced to 3 ½ years in jail for stabbing, other charges
Thomas Keeping took the stand at his own sentencing hearing Thursday, telling the judge he has a serious drug addiction he wants to overcome.
“I just want to get back to normal,” the 32-year-old said.
Provincial court Judge Colin Flynn acknowledged Keeping’s addiction and sentenced him to 3 ½ years in prison, saying unless Keeping dealt with his issues, “it’s a revolving door.”
Keeping was convicted last week of stabbing a man in the west end of St. John’s in November, despite the victim having testified that Keeping wasn’t the guy responsible. Tyler Dove said he didn’t know who had stabbed him, but he was sure it wasn’t Keeping.
Flynn rejected those words, however, saying he had no faith in Dove’s testimony, since he had refused to co-operate with police from the start.
Keeping drove a stolen school bus to a residence on Outerbridge Street early in the morning Nov. 28, parked it outside the house and banged on the door before going inside.
Witnesses said they saw Keeping and Dove fighting on the street before Dove yelled that he had been stabbed. Keeping ran away but was later located by the RNC’s K-9 unit, hiding on the ground underneath the patio of a home on nearby Doyle Street. He was carrying two knives and four cellphones, one of them belonging to Dove’s grandmother. A key to the stolen school bus was found on the ground.
Dove later required surgery to treat injuries he received from three stab wounds to his abdomen, but he refused to provide police with a sample of his DNA in order for them to compare it to samples taken from the knives Keeping had been carrying.
Keeping’s lawyer, Shelley Senior, had suggested there were two suspects running from police in the neighbourhood the morning in question: the stabber and her client, whom she said was hiding because of the stolen school bus. Flynn didn’t accept that possibility, saying the only reasonable inference made by the evidence at trial was that Keeping was guilty.
Keeping’s 3 ½ year sentence includes jail time for aggravated assault, possessing property obtained by crime, driving while disqualified, theft under $5,000, assault, mischief by damaging property and breaching court orders, for the stabbing and other unrelated incidents. With credit given at an enhanced rate for the time he has spent in custody, he has just over two years left to serve.
Thomas Keeping (centre) prepares to go back to the holding cells at provincial court in St. John’s, having just been sentenced to 3 ½ years behind bars for a stabbing and other crimes. Keeping stabbed a man on Outerbridge Road in the west end of the city last November.