Jurors chosen for Athol murder trial that starts today

  • HAMEL

  • Assistant Northwestern District Attorneys Jeremy Bucci and Joseph Webber, standing, and Keith Hamel, who is accused of murder and other charges, seated, in Franklin County Superior Court on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 8/24/2022 4:10:15 PM
Modified: 8/24/2022 4:10:26 PM

GREENFIELD — A mandatory 16 jurors have been selected in the case of Keith D. Hamel, the man accused of killing a 26-year-old Leominster woman in November 2019 and leaving her body near the locked gates of the Athol Wastewater Treatment Plant. His trial is slated to start Thursday, Aug. 25.

Jury selection in Franklin County Superior Court started Monday morning and ended shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The trial will begin with a jury view, in which the jurors will be transported by police-escorted bus to certain locations — including the area where the victim’s body was found — that are relevant to the court case.

Hamel, 25, of Athol, has pleaded not guilty to single counts of murder and armed robbery as well as two counts of intimidation of a witness/juror/police/court official and four counts of withholding evidence from an official proceeding. He is accused of killing Kelsey Clifford on Nov. 11, 2019. Clifford’s body was found that same day with at least 15 puncture wounds to her head and face.

Hamel is also alleged to have stolen $400 in cash and a cell phone from the victim after she was dead. The state alleges that Hamel, who had a girlfriend, killed Clifford, who had a boyfriend, to get access to her cell phone to delete evidence of a sexual encounter between the two.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorneys Jeremy Bucci and Joseph Webber are prosecuting the case for the state. Hamel is represented by attorney Joshua Hochberg.

Reach Domenic Poli at dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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