A self-proclaimed racist accused of murdering two people in 2009 appeared in a Brockton, Mass., court this week with a swastika carved into his forehead. His defense attorney said Thursday that his client has a history of mental illness and is not criminally responsible for a seemingly racially motivated raping and shooting spree.
Keith Luke, 26, is accused of raping and shooting a 22-year-old neighbor and fatally shooting her 20-year-old sister Selma Goncalves on Jan. 21, 2009. Furthermore, he is accused of firing on other people who tried to help one of his victims. Luke also allegedly shot and killed 72-year-old Arlindo Goncalves, who was not related to Selma, as he was walking down the street. All of the victims were from Cape Verdean.
The shooting spree ended in a car chase and a shootout with police.
He told authorities that he wanted to kill “nonwhites” because he was “fighting extinction” of the white race.
When he first appeared in court in May 2009, Luke had a bloody cut on his forehead where he had cut a swastika symbol into his skin. Now the mark is noticeable scar.
Seven security officers escorted Luke into Brockton Superior Court this week where he apparently grinned during the jury selection and made a silly face to a news photographer.
The jury heard that Luke stockpiled tools described as “sexually sadistic and meant for rape and torture” in his room and his van. Gag balls, box cutters, handcuffs, hammers, hatchets, and a sledgehammer were found after his arrest.
Luke faces 18 charges, including two murder counts, six counts of armed assault with intent to murder, armed kidnapping with sexual assault, and four counts of aggravated rape. He also allegedly told police that, back in 2009, he intended to attack a synagogue near his home.
Outlining a history of mental illness, his attorney, Joseph Krowski Jr., claimed Luke “was not criminally responsible for the acts he perpetrated upon those people.”
He said psychologists who evaluated Luke before the 2009 shooting spree “warned that it would happen.”
Krowski painted a picture of a detached Luke who was “cold as ice” during the crimes.
Prosecutor Frank Middleton called Luke “a sexually frustrated, angry young man bent on revenge” for every women who rejected him.
‘‘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.’’