Stephen Clark States will be at least 70 before he is released from prison, the penalty for stabbing to death a man that he told the court he thought of as a brother. Earlier this month, Circuit Court Judge J. Frederick Price sentenced States to the maximum 30 years in jail for the second-degree murder of Norman Thomas Keyser. Price suspended five years, and gave States credit for the nearly seven months he had been in jail since the December 14, 2008 stabbing in the Chestertown apartment where States and Keyser both lived. Because States was convicted of a crime of violence, he must serve at least half of the active jail time of 12 years before he can be considered for parole. He will be 60 in December.
After he is released from jail, States is to be placed on five years of supervised probation. He is to pay restitution of $7,000 to Norma and Richard Wolfson, Keyser’s mother and stepfather, and he is to have no contact with the Wolfsons, who live in Still Pond. Price recommended that the Division of Correction take into consideration States mental health and history of alcohol abuse when determining his placement. In exchange for the guilty plea, States Attorney Strong dismissed the remaining charges.
States, his girlfriend of 11 years, and Keyser were living together in an apartment on North Kent Street. Testimony at States re-arraignment in May, when he pleaded guilty to murder, was that States had learned that his girlfriend had fallen in love with Keyser, and was going to leave him.
Skipp portrayed the stabbing as totally spontaneous, fueled by the love triangle and a lot of drinking by all three on the night of December 14. According to an agreed statement of facts, States, 59, stabbed Keyser, 47, several times in the chest with a filet knife. Keyser was airlifted to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died several hours later. His death was ruled a homicide, caused by the stabbing.