Former radio host sentenced to life without parole for 2004 antifreeze murder of his wife in Waltham
A former radio talk show host was sentenced today to life in prison without parole for murdering his wife by giving her Gatorade and other drinks and food that had been laced with antifreeze.
James Keown was convicted today in Middlesex Superior Court in the killing of his 31-year-old wife, Julie, on Sept. 8, 2004, while the couple was living in Waltham. Judge Sandra Hamlin this afternoon gave Keown the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Keown was arrested on Nov. 7, 2005, while he was on the air, hosting a radio talk show on KLIK-AM in Jefferson City, Mo.
Keown's wife, a registered nurse, started getting ill in May 2004 with symptoms that included vomiting, nausea, and slurred speech. She was originally diagnosed with gastritis. Four months later, her kidneys started deteriorating. She was being treated at Newton-Wellesley Hospital when she slipped into a coma and doctors discovered ethylene glycol, the poisonous substance found in antifreeze, in her system. She was given an antidote, but it was too late to save her life.
Prosecutors alleged Keown murdered his wife so he could collect a $250,000 life insurance policy. The couple had been married for eight years and moved from Kansas City, Mo., to Waltham in January 2004.
-- City & Region staff