KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (June 4, 2014) — A karate instructor charged with several counts of alleged criminal sexual conduct is dead, after it appears he ingested a poisonous substance. The death is being treated as a suicide.
On Tuesday, fire and medical personnel responded to a home on Nazareth in Kalamazoo Township on reports of a male victim who was unresponsive. Upon arrival, they found Robert Earle Keith, 61, and requested help from police based on information they had about the victim at the time.
Efforts to resuscitate Mr. Keith were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead. At this point, the investigation suggests he took a poisonous substance to end his own life.
Mr. Keith was about to begin trial on June 10 on charges of criminal sexual conduct, that allegedly took place in a dojo he was operating out of his home. Police say the incidents happened during martial arts training. There are currently three victims, ages 15, 16 and 17, but police say there may be others. If he would have been convicted, he could have faced upwards of 19 years in prison.
An autopsy will be conducted on Wednesday to determine an exact cause of death.