Self-proclaimed white supremacist's trial begins
BROCKTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- The trial against a self-proclaimed white supremacist began Thursday.
Keith Luke is accused of numerous counts of murder, rape and armed assault. He is accused of the murders to two people and critically injuring a third during a car chase and shootout in 2009.
Luke smiled repeatedly as prosecutors laid out the case against him. The swastika Luke once carved into his own head no longer visible.
“He planned this day. He planned this bloodbath for months and months,” said Assistant district attorney Frank Middleton.
In Middleton’s opening statement he showed jurors the weapons of torture Luke allegedly intended for his victims, all of Cape Verdean descent.
“He wanted to beat her to death with his hammer, but the sister came home and screwed up his plans,” said Middleton.
The horror unfolded around a Brockton house. Police said Luke raped one woman inside the house before fatally shooting a second woman, 20-year-old Selma Gonclaves, who interrupted him. Luke is also accused of shooting and killing 72-year-old Arlindo Gonclaves on the street.
Middleton played 911 calls from panicked callers for the jury.
Defense attorneys said they don’t dispute most of the allegations against Luke.
“He was in a war. He was going to kill as many Jews and non-whites as possible,” said defense attorneys.
Luke’s attorney, Joseph Krowski, said his client was on his way to a temple with a plan to kill Jews, but he never made it following a shootout and car chase.
Krowski acknowledged his client’s repeated smiles in court and asked the jury to consider the defendant’s long history of mental illness.
“The sanity of Mr. Luke and therefore his criminal responsibility is a central issue in this case,” said Krowski.
The defense argues mental illness is to blame, while prosecutors claim Luke was seeking revenge after being rejected by women.