LAS VEGAS -- A federal judge Tuesday issued a 15-year prison sentence to a man who violently assaulted a woman with a taser device at a Las Vegas apartment complex and carjacked her vehicle, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.
Keith Michael Costa, 35, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey based on his guilty plea to one count of carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
“When possible, we will use federal laws to prosecute recidivist offenders who are committing violent crimes in our Nevada communities,” Bogden said. “We work with our local police departments to regularly review violent crimes that occur in Nevada to determine whether they should be prosecuted federally.”
According to court records, Costa went to an apartment complex office on West Charleston Boulevard last July 2 to inquire about renting several apartments. As Costa left the office, he encountered a female tenant and demanded her car keys. When she refused to turn them over, Costa pushed her to the ground and shocked her with a taser at least seven times.
Costa then tried to steal the victim’s 2009 Audi A4 sedan, but the keys were not in the car. The victim ran inside the office, and Costa chased her. He continued to attack her with the taser in the presence of the apartment manager and another employee until she turned over the car keys. Costa then fled in the car.
The victim, an exchange student from Thailand, was hospitalized for injuries she sustained during the carjacking.
On July 23, a Metro Police officer stopped Costa in Las Vegas as he was driving a black BMW sedan with paper plates. Costa argued with the officer and fled in the BMW, leading the officer and a backup unit on a high speed car chase on surface streets and on U.S.95. During the pursuit, Costa crossed medians, drove the wrong direction in traffic, and reached speeds of 140 miles per hour.
Costa almost struck a female pedestrian who was pushing a baby stroller. Though he escaped police he was arrested two days later in an area motel. He fought with officers during his arrest, and reached in his waistband for what turned out to be a stolen 9 millimeter handgun. Costa had been prohibited from possessing a gun based on a 2002 conviction in Nevada for felony access device fraud.
This case was investigated by the FBI and Metro Police and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip Smith, Jr.