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Herald staff | rking@heraldnet.com
Published: Friday, October 15, 2010, 1:23 p.m.

Guilty plea in threats over plan to name baby after John Gotti

  • John Gotti

    F. Paventi

    John Gotti

EVERETT -- A former convict is headed back to prison for threatening to kill a nurse after she laughed about his plan to name his newborn son in honor of the late mob boss John Gotti.

John Keinath, 39, of Everett, recently pleaded guilty to felony harassment and an unrelated drug charge. Last week, he was quietly sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Keinath, known to some by the street name "Flare," has done time in prison for drive-by shooting and beating a man with a metal pipe. He attracted attention in August when he was hauled in front of a judge, who set his bail at $1 million. At the time, Keinath was free on bail, awaiting trial for threatening to strangle the nurse. Prosecutors were concerned because he had discovered the woman's name and home address, and was talking about doing her harm.

When arrested, Keinath was in possession of methamphetamine and $5,000 cash.

He pleaded guilty under an agreement that kept him clear of other charges. Late this week, he still was cooling his heels in the Snohomish County Jail, awaiting other court appearances, including a trial where he is expected to be called as a witness. Court papers are slim on details about that case, but Keinath definitely is not cooperating with the authorities, his attorney, Tom Cox, said.

Keinath in March reportedly flew into a rage when the nurse laughed about his choice of baby names, thinking he was telling a joke. At sentencing, she filed a letter with the court, describing how terrifying she's found the ordeal, particularly after Keinath tracked her down at home and left a message on her phone.

"I have no illusions that John Keinath's threat against my life will ever go away," the nurse wrote. "It will be a lifelong burden, especially when he is not in prison. I wonder how it is that a person with a record of such violent crimes was free in the first place ... I am hopeful that our legal system has an antidote for this violent criminal."

Keinath's sentence was the maximum under state guidelines. His criminal history, while violent, so far is not sufficiently serious to qualify for a life sentence under the state's three-strikes law.

Gotti revolved in and out of prison several times, too, before he rose to the top spot in the Gambino crime family. He became infamous as the "Dapper Don," a nod to his wardrobe and flashy style. Later he was dubbed the "Teflon Don" when he beat the rap in some high-profile case. Gotti died in 2002. He spent the final decade of his life behind bars after being convicted of ordering mob hits.
Story tags » Crime, Law & JusticeEverettAssaultDrug TraffickingOrganized CrimePolicePrison

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