Judge delays Windsor Locks stabbing sentencing after victim's family protests

Dec. 6—A judge on Monday postponed completion of the sentencing of Quahzier Nathaniel Bouie in the 2018 stabbing death of Michael Keene in the Windsor Locks condominium they occupied with family members to give prosecutors more time to deal with objections by Keene's family and friends to Bouie's plea bargain.

In vehement statements to Judge David P. Gold during the Hartford Superior Court hearing, a number of Keene's family members and friends argued that the family hadn't received proper notification of the plea bargain before Bouie entered it in early October.

In the deal, Bouie, 27, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and evidence tampering and agreed to a 25-year prison sentence. Bouie accepted the manslaughter conviction under the Alford doctrine, meaning that he didn't admit guilt but acknowledged that the prosecution's evidence was sufficient for a conviction at trial.


DEFENDANT: Quahzier Nathaniel Bouie, 27

PLEA DEAL: Calls for Bouie to get 25 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter and evidence tampering

OBJECTIONS: That victim Michael Keene's family wasn't properly notified and that sentence is too lenient

Several of Keene's family and friends argued that the stabbing was a murder, the charge Bouie originally faced, and that he should receive a much longer prison term.

Several speakers said Keene's former wife, Nancy Keene, hadn't been permitted to register as a victim of the crime because they were no longer married. His daughter Ashley Keene was allowed to register, they said.

Yet the day of the plea bargain, Nancy Keene received a call from the prosecutor's office while Ashley Keene didn't, they said.

After the judge called a recess to discuss the issue with the lawyers, Hartford State's Attorney Sharmese L. Walcott said her office had never been made aware who was eligible for financial benefits as victims of the crime.

Another prosecutor was in the courtroom when Bouie entered the plea bargain, but Walcott said she had given the instruction to contact Nancy Keene.

Gold said he had decided to postpone completion of the sentencing hearing — something the veteran judge said he hadn't done before — to allow "those who spoke so forcefully" to consult with Walcott before the hearing is completed. The hearing is to resume Dec. 16.

But the judge cautioned that the delay won't necessarily "result in a different resolution of the case." And he said he wasn't indicating that anyone did anything wrong.

Early in Monday's hearing, Walcott called the crime "heinous." She said Michael Keene was stabbed in the neck and back, adding that no "defensive wounds" were noted on his body. She also said his pockets were turned out.

Evidence presented at a September 2019 preliminary hearing on the evidence in the case indicated that Keene had a large amount of cash around the time of his death — and that Bouie made a $345 cash deposit to a prepaid debit card on the day Keene was last seen.

Keene's body was found on Nov. 27, 2018, in the condominium at 74 Main St. that he had occupied with his mother; his daughter Jessica; Bouie, who was Jessica's boyfriend; and the couple's son. The body was in a storage tote and is believed to have been there for two weeks.

Several speakers discussed the trauma associated with finding the body there.

Jessica Keene is facing a murder charge in the case. In a police interview the day after her father's body was found, she admitted to stabbing him in the thigh but was unable to give further details, according to an affidavit by Windsor Locks police Officer Daniel Bontempo. In an interview after her arrest, Jessica said Bouie was the one who had killed her father and that she played no part in it, according to the officer.

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