KEENE — The man arraigned Wednesday in Massachusetts on charges he murdered a Leominster, Mass., woman late last year is also wanted on criminal charges in Keene.
Keith Hamel, 24, “is charged with the murder of 26-year-old Kelsey Clifford, armed robbery, two counts of misleading police and four counts of tampering with evidence,” according to a report in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Hamel “was arraigned Wednesday in Franklin Superior Court in Greenfield (Mass.) after being indicted on the charges by a secret grand jury in Franklin County,” the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Clifford had been stabbed in the face, according to police, when her body was found near the wastewater treatment plant in Athol, Mass., on Nov. 11, according to the newspaper. It reports that, according to court documents, Clifford was found “face down and had suffered ‘in excess of 15 blunt/sharp force injuries to her head and face.’”
Clifford’s money and phone were missing, according to police quoted by that newspaper.
Police located a sweatshirt between Hamel’s house and the crime scene; the sweatshirt had Clifford’s blood and Hamel’s DNA on it, and Hamel’s DNA was also found on the victim’s body, according to counsel in the case, the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Hamel is believed to have been with Clifford that morning.
Officers said Hamel initially lied to police about his whereabouts that day, telling investigators he had spent the day with his underage girlfriend, according to the Telegram & Gazette.
Hamel is being held without bail in Clifford’s death.
Hamel was indicted in November by a grand jury convened in Cheshire Superior Court in Keene on theft charges, according to court records, and is currently wanted on a warrant out of the Keene court, though he is unlikely to face charges while his Massachusetts case is pending.
According to the affidavit filed in the Keene court, Hamel stole a purse from an elderly woman at the Market Basket and used her credit cards to purchase gas, cigarettes, a television, an Xbox One gaming console and a PlayStation gaming console.