The suspect in an ongoing murder case in Taylor was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for an outstanding gun charge from nearly two years ago.
John Wendell Keyler also received a mandatory five-year firearms ban for possessing a rifle contrary to court orders after it was found in his possession in Montney on Sept. 26, 2019.
RCMP were called out after a resident reported that Keyler had showed up at their property shortly after 8 a.m. Court heard he was under the influence of drugs at the time and known to be delusional.
Keyler previously testified his common-law girlfriend, Sarah Foord, had set up an ambush while they were on a hunting trip in the area. He initially claimed he was wounded by several attackers during the incident, but later conceded his testimony was false.
Keyler was found with no wounds, and RCMP searched his vehicle at the scene. A .22 rifle was found with Keyler’s fingerprints on it, court heard.
Keyler's lawyer Kelly Merrigan told the court his client has a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
"His record is reflective from time to time he falls prey to that," said Merrigan. "He abuses alcohol and drugs, and finds himself in front of the court system. When he gets clean and sober, he goes and works, and is a very hardworking man."
Foord was also charged in the incident, however, the courts have abated the charge due to the fact she is deceased. Keyler faces a separate charge of second-degree murder in her death in July 2020.
Court proceedings in that matter were adjourned last month to give Keyler time to find a new lawyer after Merrigan stepped down from the case. It's expected to proceed to jury trial once Keyler retains a new lawyer, with trial dates still to be set.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email email@example.com