CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A judge sentenced a West Side man who seriously injured a woman in her home and robbed her to prison.
Keith Jamal Burnette, 30, of Central Avenue, was sentenced to one year for brandishing a weapon and 10 years for first-degree robbery. He was sentenced to another one to 15 years for possession of drugs with intent to deliver.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey listened to two pastors describe Burnette as a normal kid who was diligent and focused on his education. But both said they were shocked and disappointed he ended up a criminal.
Bailey said Burnette's crime demanded punishment.
"One thing that is apparent is that this is all about drug money," Bailey said to Burnette. "A real evil and a real disastrous matter in our community.
"I don't know why you went awry," she said after listening to the pastors talk about his background in church and in the community. "But this was serious, violent conduct."
Burnette apologized to his family and to the victim, and said one bad influence turned his life around. At one time, Burnette was a college student and was studying to become a paralegal.
Prosecutors said it appeared Burnette was calling the victim his bad influence and blaming her for the crime.
Burnette entered her Main Avenue apartment with a gun and pointed it at both the woman and other family members. Authorities said he demanded money and he took a laptop and cellphone. The victim was struck in the head with the gun.
When arrested, Burnette had a dozen baggies of cocaine on him.
Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Drummond said the woman has had two surgeries for her head injuries and faces more. She was paid $35,000 by the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
The judge said, "The victim will likely suffer for the rest of her life. And I can't ignore that. This is a tragedy, but one that I think deserves punishment."
Burnette's family and two children attended the court hearing.
He was originally indicted by a grand jury on eight counts, all but one of them felonies. He pleaded guilty to three and the others were dismissed by prosecutors.
Burnette will receive credit for 176 days spent in jail awaiting the disposition of his case. The judge said he will not receive credit for 122 days spent on home confinement because he cut his bracelet and absconded.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.