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Chambersburg man to serve 46 months in prison

March 27, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man accused of following two women home, forcing his way inside and assaulting one of them, will spend a minimum of 46 months in state prison.

As part of a no contest plea, Jeffrey Keith, 39, of 7 S. Federal St., Chambersburg, was sentenced on charges of simple assault, criminal trespass and terroristic threats earlier this month in Franklin County Court.

A no contest plea means a defendant is not admitting guilt, but will offer no defense.

According to court records, Keith ran into an ex-girlfriend and her friend at a bar on Aug. 24 and followed the two home.

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He pursued them into the house after being repeatedly told he was not to be at the residence, but he entered, locked the door and refused to let anyone leave, the affidavit of probable cause said.

He punched his ex-girlfriend in the back of the head and then in the face when she tried to leave, court records allege.

Keith threatened the women and attempted to have sexual relations with the ex-girlfriend, the affidavit said.

She finally was able to get out of the house as her ride to work arrived. Keith then left the residence, the affidavit said.

Judge Douglas Herman ordered sentences above the normal guidelines because of Keith's prior record, which included an aggravated assault conviction for the 1997 assault of another woman.

Keith was under the supervision of the state board of paroles at the time of the latest attack and will face additional jail time for violating his probation, defense attorney Candice Baker-Leit said.

He had been out of jail on parole since January 2001, Herman said.

"This is a case in which the prior record weighs heavily in the court's decision because they are similar in nature," Herman said. "The injuries are not as serious, but the method is similar.

"You followed the victim to her home, restrained her by locking the door, assaulted her, threatening to kill her and sexually assaulted her," Herman said.

Herman ordered three consecutive sentences, including 17 to 60 months in state prison for criminal trespass, 12 to 24 months in state prison for simple assault, and 17 to 60 months in state prison for terroristic threats.

Baker-Leit said Keith was interested in withdrawing his plea, and Herman said he could file such a motion with the court within 10 days.

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