Court hears details of gruesome stabbing murder

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- A 21-year-old man says he killed a friend he called "Uncle Joe" by stabbing him nearly 300 times after he says his buddy tried to touch him sexually.

The body of Joseph Charles Reed was discovered in his bathroom Jan. 6, 2009.

The 58-year-old man had a massive slash across his abdomen, deep, significant wounds in his chest, stabs and cuts to his face and mutilating injuries to his genitals. A black-handled, single-edged knife found at the scene had pierced Reed's heart.

On Tuesday, Keegan Periard admitted he inflicted the injuries. Periard, 21, faces life imprisonment for the homicide, which occurred sometime between Jan. 3 and 5.

The court heard Periard called 911 from the Greyhound Bus station on Jan. 6 to report that he had stabbed Reed the previous afternoon. When Periard turned himself in, police were unaware of the death, Crown attorney Bill Johnson said.

"I killed Joe Reed," Periard told two city police officers, who went to the bus station to speak with him. "He tried to grab my balls so I sliced his guts out."

Periard had wounds on his right hand -- two fingers were taped and he had a large cut on his middle finger.

"He said he was defending himself as Reed tried to grab him and put his hands down his pants," Johnson told the judge.

Police officers dispatched to Reed's apartment found him lying on his back on the bathroom floor with numerous lacerations on his abdomen and "his intestines coming out."

In an interview with city police Det. Sgt. John Zambusi, Periard indicated he had been drinking at various places between New Year's Eve and Jan. 3 when he went to Reed's place.

He described Reed as a friend he called "Uncle Joe," who sometimes would supply booze.

Reed and another friend were drinking sherry, and both were intoxicated when he arrived at the apartment, he said. The friend left and Reed and Periard walked to a nearby supermarket where the older man purchased two bottles of wine.

They went back to Reed's residence to get drunk.

Periard said he was sitting in the living room when Reed tried to touch him.

He told Zambusi he "thought Joe was trying to rape him or something" and that he had never had a man come on to him before.

He went to the kitchen to get the knife and when he returned, Reed, who had a phone in his hand, told him "to get the f--- out."

Periard said he walked over to Reed to get the phone, "panicked and pushed" him into the bathroom.

Reed fell, and Periard said he "stabbed him and slit his throat."

"Joe tried to grab the knife and yelled 'help, help,"' but was "gone in the first couple of stabs."

Periard thought he stabbed the man 20 times, but added it could have been a 100 times, he didn't know. He said he was "pissed off" about what Reed had tried to do to him and defecated on him "because he just really hated him."

After closing the door to the bathroom, Periard spent the night in the apartment. He said he didn't remember what he did when he got up the next morning although at some point he went to a friend's place where he drank some liquor and beer before having his friend drop him off at the bus station.

Periard indicated he took medications for psychosis and depression, and although he hadn't used them in week was still functioning.

McMillan heard the Sudbury forensic pathologist who did the autopsy was unable to determine the exact number of injuries because there was clustering and overlapping.

In what he called a conservative estimate, the pathologist reported close to 300 injuries, assistant Crown attorney Kelly Weeks said.

Reed had 60 stab wounds in his facial area, including deep cuts around his mouth.

There were at least 86 stab wounds to the front of the abdomen, along with mutilating injuries to the genitals.

There were at least 89 wounds to the front of his chest, some of which were "very deep" with multiple penetrations to the sac around the heart, diaphragm and main pulmonary artery.

"Many of the wounds in the chest could have been fatal," Weeks said.

An x-ray of the body also detected a toonie down Reed's throat.

As part of a plea bargain, the Crown and defence counsel Bruce Willson urged Superior Court Justice Ian McMillan to set Periard's parole eligibility at 13 years.

McMillan reserved his decision until Friday.


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