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Kings County man nets five years in prison

An RCMP cruiser was involved in a crash on Highway 101 at Exit 19 near Lawrencetown this morning. Cpl. Jennifer Clarke confirmed the RCMP car’s involvement and that there were no significant injuries. The other vehicle is a smaller red car.
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High speed chase, thefts from gas stations and pharmacies in two-day crime spree

KENTVILLE - A Kings County man has been sentenced to five years in jail for a mini crime spree last year in Kings and Annapolis counties.

Kyle Joseph Keddy, 33, was sentenced Thursday in Kentville provincial court after pleading guilty last month to 12 of more than two dozen charges he was facing.

The bulk of the charges stemmed from two days in June, Crown attorney Jim Fyfe told court. On June 11, Keddy pumped $25 in gas from an Aldershot gas station and left without paying. The next day, an employee at a garage in Wilmot, Annapolis County, was moving cars around in the parking lot when Keddy jumped into a black BMW and drove off shortly before 4 p.m.

About 10 minutes later, RCMP responded to a panic alarm at a pharmacy in nearby Kingston. When they got there, they were told that a man — later identified as Keddy — walked in and demanded all the morphine in the store and tried to get behind the drug counter. Fyfe said Keddy pointed his finger like a gun at the pharmacist and said “I want the f***ing morphine. I want it now. You have two minutes.”

He left empty-handed, however, after he was confronted by the owner and told he needed to have a prescription.

Shortly after that, Keddy walked into a pharmacy in Berwick and stole two bottles of rubbing alcohol. Then, at 5 p.m., Keddy pumped $94 in gas into the BMW at a gas station in North Kentville, and left without paying.

A high-speed chase

RCMP spotted the car on Highway 358 in Greenwich at about 5:15 p.m., Fyfe said, but when they tried to stop it, Keddy drove on the shoulder of the road to pass several vehicles before pulling a U-turn and passing more vehicles in the opposite direction, again by driving on the shoulder.

The officers broke off the pursuit because of safety concerns, and Keddy turned onto Highway 101, where he was spotted driving at a high rate of speed. Not long after that he headed to his home in Port Williams, but spotted a police car parked across the street and turned around, driving straight at another RCMP car before swerving around it.

Minutes after 6 p.m., police were called to a pharmacy in Coldbrook, where Keddy showed a knife to the pharmacist and demanded morphine. He was given four bottles before he fled, backing into another vehicle while driving away.

He was spotted again driving in Steam Mill, north of Kentville. When he sped off after spotting RCMP vehicles, he was followed by an unmarked cruiser. He tried to drive home again, but after seeing another police car near there he pulled a U-turn and started to drive away.

Officers were able to put out a spike belt that flattened two of his tires, but he continued on, ignoring a stop sign at an intersection and hitting a stop sign at the next intersection on Belcher Street in Port Williams. An officer tried to use his cruiser to block Keddy from going any further, but he rammed the police car and drove away.

The pursuit finally ended when Keddy lost control of the car and struck a telephone pole. He wouldn’t get out of the vehicle, and police had to smash a window to pull him out.

More charges

Besides charges from those incidents, Keddy also pleaded guilty to counts from two other days last spring.

On April 21, Fyfe said a woman on Highway 358 in Port Williams was awoken by a banging noise and saw someone beating on the door of a pickup truck in her driveway. The man then approached the house and began pounding on the front door with a broom handle, and at some point hit the woman’s car as well, causing minor damage.

Keddy was found highly intoxicated at a nearby home, and had keys to the pickup truck, which had been stolen, Fyfe said. He said Keddy told police later that he didn’t remember taking the truck or pounding on the door of the house.

On Sept. 30, while out on bail for the June incidents, Keddy was charged with assaulting his girlfriend, who was also his surety. Police were called to a home on Belcher Street in Port Williams, where Keddy had shown up and told the owner that he had been hit on the head with a curtain rod by his girlfriend, and had assaulted her.

Fyfe said Keddy did have a bump on his forehead. He said that when police got to his girlfriend’s home, she had a gash over her left eye that was bleeding, and a bump over her eye and on her head. The girlfriend told police Keddy had been behaving erratically and struck her after they had words, before he jumped out the bedroom window and ran off.

Five years in prison

The five-year sentence was a joint recommendation from Fyfe and defence lawyers Zeb Brown and Tim Peacock.

Fyfe said while the guilty pleas were a mitigating factor in the case, there were aggravating factors including a fairly substantial criminal record that includes a robbery charge and his driving that day.

“It’s very fortunate that in his efforts to evade the police he didn’t kill or injure a police officer or a member of the public,” he said.

Court was told that Keddy has long-standing issues with alcohol and opiate abuse. Peacock told Judge Ronda van der Hoek that Keddy had abstained from opiates for a long time, but had a relapse June 12 and doesn’t recall much of the day. The opiate addiction stemmed from an athletic injury earlier in life, he said.

“Mr. Keddy is committed to putting these things behind him, to paying his debt to society and improving himself,” Peacock said, adding that he plans to stay closer to family in Manitoba and work on developing a career as a mechanic.

Keddy pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, two of theft of a motor vehicle, two of robbery, and one each of dangerous driving, flight from police, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash, assault, and mischief.

He was also fined $200 and banned from driving for six years.

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