Bar Harbor man sentenced to 58 years behind bars for raping, killing former classmate

ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - The Bar Harbor man who raped and killed a former high school classmate last summer has been sentenced to 58 years in prison for murder.

22-year-old Jalique Keene was also sentenced to a concurrent 30-year sentence for raping 19-year-old Mikaela Conley.

"It is an unfair trade. It doesn't feel fair to me that Mikaela doesn't get a voice in this," said friend of Conley, Kiana Baranowski. "We have to be her voice now. There's no amount of years will be enough for what he did. Mikaela's life has so much more value than this."

In front of a packed courtroom, loved ones of 19-year-old Mikaela Conley asked the judge for the harshest punishment possible for 22-year-old Jalique Keene.

Keene was convicted of raping and killing Conley, a former high school classmate.

Prosecutors requested a life sentence saying Keene inflicted plenty of harm to Conley before he was seen on security video carrying her over his shoulder as she kicked her feet.

Her body was later found near the grounds of a local school. Authorities say she died from blunt force trauma and strangulation.

The State calls Keene's actions "savage" and "brutal."

"The judge imposed a sentence that he thought was warranted by the evidence as it was, and by the particular circumstances of Mr. Keene. No sentence that any judge could ever impose would be sufficient to address the harm that's been done, or change the fact that Mikaela will never be with us again."

During the trial, Keene testified he and Conley had consensual sex before they got into a fight.

Keene addressed the court saying he does believe he's taken responsibility for the death of Mikaela Conley. However the judge and state prosecutors disagree.

"I think Jalique Keene proved today that he is exactly the person we thought he was before. That he is a self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, sociopath," said Assistant Attorney General, Meg Elam.

Keene was seen getting emotional as his birth mother addressed the court.

"I am so sorry. All of us are that Mikaela is not here today," she said tearfully.

The State declined to comment on behalf of Conley's family, but they say they, along with the Bar Harbor community have suffered a great loss that can never be fixed, no matter the sentence.

"Her family demonstrated the best in people coming together, sharing the beauty of her life, and continuing to love each other," explained Elam.

"After the sentencing today, he will no longer take up space in our daily lives," said another friend of Conley. "The healing begins now."

The defense declined to comment at the request of Keene.

The State does expect Keene to appeal.