By Delon Shurtz
Alta Newspaper Group – Lethbridge
A Blood Reserve man risked contracting the coronavirus when he forced his way into a hotel room and assaulted a woman.
Keenan Black Plume went to the hotel in Cardston on June 4 and knocked on one of the doors. The woman inside, who was in quarantine after being tested positive for COVID-19, thought a security officer was knocking, and when she opened the door Black Plume forced his way into the room.
The woman told Black Plume to leave and warned him she had COVID-19, but he ignored her warning and punched her in the face and head each time she tried to leave. She was eventually able to get to the window and shout for security, who called police.
Black Plume pleaded guilty Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of housebreaking to commit assault and was sentenced to five months in jail.
Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles told court the sentence he and defence recommended likely should have been higher – the accused has a criminal record for assaults – but in light of discussions with defence and difficulties with the Crown’s case had it gone to trial, counsel agreed on the lesser sentence.
Lethbridge lawyer Claudia Connolly told Judge Paul Pharo her 22-year-old client has had “a lot of unpleasant situations in his short life,” including the death of both his parents, which left him in the care of his grandmother.
Although Black Plume received a five-month sentence, he was given credit for the equivalent of 65 days spent in custody after he was arrested, leaving him with 85 days to serve. He will be on probation for 18 months following his release from jail, during which he must behave himself and not have any contact or communication with the woman, with whom he was once in a relationship. He must also submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.