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Self-described neo-Nazi guilty of 2009 Brockton murders, rape

A juror said that Keith Luke’s crimes were repulsive and that he “needed to be in prison.”

Marc Vasconcellos/The Brockton Enterprise

A juror said that Keith Luke’s crimes were repulsive and that he “needed to be in prison.”

BROCKTON — Jurors were not swayed by defense arguments that Keith Luke was insane when he ­murdered a man and a woman and raped and critically wounded another woman, as they rendered guilty verdicts Thursday that brought two consecutive life sentences and 158 years for the defendant.

The surviving victim took the stand and gave an emotional victim impact statement, saying, “On Jan. 21, 2009, an evil person changed my life and the life of my family forever.”

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Luke shot and killed Selma ­Goncalves, 20, and Arlindo DePina Goncalves, 72. The two were not related.

As the verdicts were read, the surviving victim wept and wiped away tears. Luke, dressed in a white T-shirt and green pants, sat with no expression next to his attorney Joseph Krowski Jr. as she gave her statement from the witness stand about 40 feet away.

“The scars remain on my body; you can see them on my head, my chest, both arms, my legs,” she continued. “Almost from head to toe, these scars will remain forever.”

But, she continued, “those scars do not compare to the scars that have been left on my mind.”

The surviving victim of convicted murderer Keith Luke’s killing January 2009 spree said the scars she bears “will remain forever.”

Marc Vasconcellos/The Brockton Enterprise

The surviving victim of convicted murderer Keith Luke’s killing January 2009 spree said the scars she bears “will remain forever.”

She said, “I’m no longer able to answer a knock on my door from family or friends without fear or memory of this tragic day.”

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The Globe is not identifying the woman because she was the victim of a sexual assault.

The five-woman, seven-man jury deliberated for about eight hours over two days before they arrived at guilty verdicts on all but one of 15 charges — armed assault with attempt to murder lodged on behalf of a good ­Samaritan who rushed to help Selma Goncalves.

Juror Barbara Cyr said in a phone interview Thursday night that the panel’s focus was not on whether Luke had committed the crimes but whether he was criminally responsible for his behavior.

“At the end of the day, we thought the prosecution proved their case that at the time of the crime he did not suffer a mental illness,” she said.

“Yes, the man is sick; yes, he’s got plenty of disorders. We all agreed he has antisocial disorders, but most of us did not think it rose to an actual mental illness.”

The crimes were “so repulsive and of such a magnitude,” she said.

“It doesn’t feel good to put someone away for life, but at the end of the day, the man needed to be in prison, and that made the best sense.”

Luke, a self-described neo-Nazi, targeted members of minority groups, prosecutors said. The surviving victim arrived in this country from Cape Verde two years prior to the attack. The other two victims were also of Cape Verdean descent.

Luke had stockpiled ammunition and other items to carry out the assaults, prosecutors said.

Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruz called Luke a “savage, evil person.”

“I think Keith Luke is the new poster child as to why we need the death penalty” in Massa­chusetts, Cruz said.

During the two-week trial, 293 exhibits were entered as evi­dence, including 4,500 pages of mental health documentation on Luke going back to when he was 7 and two hours of videotaped interviews police conducted with him after his deadly rampage through this working-class city with large immigrant communities.

Luke confessed to the crimes and gave a series of bizarre expla­nations for his actions, saying, among other things, that he was angry about black men raping and killing white women on a “genocidal scale’’ and that “Jew-controlled ­media” have done nothing to report it, Krowski, his lawyer, said in court.

Krowski argued from the outset of the trial that his client was insane and should not be held criminally responsible for his actions. He continued after the verdict to assert that his client was incompetent.

“Certainly the weight of the mental health history, in my mind, suggested that Mr. Luke was not acting voluntarily on Jan. 21, 2009.”

Krowski said Luke had been in a psychiatric hospital for at least three years prior to 2009 and had told medical staff who treated him that he harbored thoughts of raping, torturing, and killing.

Krowski said Luke had spent most of his time alone and had held a job for ­only one day in his life.

Krowski said Luke was not in touch with reality, that his client described a “Zionist-
occupied government” that keeps a list of white survivalists, including him, and that the government was planning to round them up and put them in camps.

Luke’s rampage started in the ­Clinton Street apartment, where the rape occurred and where Selma Goncalves was ­fatally shot.

The surviving victim was home alone and answered the door. Luke, holding a gun, barged in, handcuffed her, and raped her.

When Selma Goncalves ­arrived at the apartment, Luke shot her three times in the back as she attempted to flee. Luke then shot the survivor seven times, including once in the head.

As Luke fled in his black van, he shot and killed Arlindo DePina Goncalves, who was well known in the neighborhood and often came around collecting aluminum cans in a shopping cart.

Luke was arrested after a brief police chase during which he shot at two police officers.

During an interview later with police, Luke said he wanted to continue to a local synagogue to kill Jews during bingo night and then shoot himself in the head.

John R. Ellement contributed to this report. Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.

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