Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 08/19/2014 1:54 PM | Comments: 0
A Winnipeg man has admitted to stabbing his girlfriend to death, then leaving the woman’s five-year-old special needs son alone with the body for hours inside their downtown apartment block.
Police were finally called about the March 2012 incident when other residents of the Edmonton Street complex spotted the child roaming the halls, wearing only a diaper and with blood on his face. Belinda McKay, 38, was found dead inside. She had suffered numerous deep stab wounds to the heart, liver and other vital organs.
Lenny Keam, 30, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder. He was given an automatic life sentence, and Crown and defence lawyers made a joint-recommendation for parole eligibility to be raised to 13 years. The mandatory minimum is 10.
Keam apologized for his actions to the victim’s family in court, blaming the attack on a three-day cocaine binge.
"It wasn’t me. It was a different guy," Keam said. "I know you guys hate me. I know you want to hurt me. I’m really sorry. Deep down, I’m really a nice guy."
Actually, Keam is no stranger to the justice system. He’s got numerous prior convictions for acts of violence and was out on bail at the time of the killing for attacking a different woman.
Crown attorney Debbie Buors told court there’s no evidence that the victim’s son witnessed the actual killing. But he certainly saw the aftermath.
By then, Keam had fled the suite with McKay’s bank card. Police say he then met up with another woman and convinced her to pass herself off as McKay when going to a city bank and requesting the PIN number so he could withdraw money.
McKay had recently come into a small inheritance from family, which the Crown said played a role in the slaying.
Medical evidence shows McKay tried to defend herself. Her body was found on top of her bathroom door, which had been broken in half by Keam.
"She was fighting for her life at the time the incident occurred," said prosecutor Debbie Buors. McKay also had numerous defensive stab wounds on her arms, court was told.
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