DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A Douglas County man was sentenced to prison after he attacked his wife with a sword in 2019.
Thomas Averill Keller, 59, of Douglas County, pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to attempted second-degree murder. As part of a plea agreement, the other charges against him were dismissed. He was then sentenced to 14 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
The charges stem from Dec. 19, 2019, when Keller's wife called 911 and told a dispatcher her husband was "out of control with a knife," according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. The dispatcher heard her scream, “Tom get away from me, put that sword away." At this time, the district attorney said she was hiding in a bedroom closet and Keller had broken through the door. He swung a katana-type sword at her, hitting her on the wrist and severing two arteries and three tendons, the district attorney's office said.
The woman was able to escape and ran onto the street, where a deputy who was just arriving on scene put a tourniquet on her wrist.
Doctors later said that saved her life.
When other deputies entered the home, they found Keller and took him to custody after a brief standoff, according to the district attorney's office.
Keller had been previously charged with felony-level domestic violence against the woman, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Valerie Brewster. Keller tried to blame both her and alcohol for his behavior.
“This sentence is a clear message that the defendant and the defendant alone is responsible for his actions," Brewster said. "But for the strength and courage of this victim the People would not have been able to hold him accountable.”
District Attorney John Kellner said violence is not a normal part of any relationship.
"His circle of blaming her for his aggression and then apologizing and saying it will never happen again ends here," he said.