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Keith Littlepage has a past that the family of murder victim Selina Knight knew nothing about. They learned about that past at a court hearing Friday, in which a judge decided whether there was enough of a probability that Littlepage killed Knight for him to stand trial for premeditated murder. There was.

During the proceeding, prosecutors argued that part of the reason Littlepage was a prime suspect for murdering his ex-girlfriend Knight was that he’d killed before. In 1981, he was convicted of manslaughter after he beat his girlfriend to death. He was sentenced to 15 years. “We didn’t know that,” said Knight’s sister Sharon Brunton after the hearing. “I don’t think she knew about that.”

Knight’s murder is one of the most bizarre in recent memory. After breaking up with Littlepage, witnesses say she began receiving phone calls in which Littlepage both threatened her and accused her of giving him HIV/AIDS.

Knight’s Nelson Place SE apartment was then burglarized twice. During the second burglary, her father’s ashes were flushed down the toilet.There was no sign of forced entry in either break-in. Knight believed that Littlepage had used a spare key to commit the crimes.

On March 4, shortly after the second burglary, Knight was found dead and bleeding in her living room, the television still glowing. Inside the residence, cops found messages scrawled on the walls, calling Knight names and saying she had HIV/AIDS.

“It was a signature, and it was his,” said Judge Heidi Pasichow. Brunton said despite the burglaries, her sister’s death caught everyone by surprise. “We knew he was upset. We never thought he would kill her.”

When Knight called cops about Littlepage, Brunton said, they did advise her to get a restraining order against her ex. Brunton doesn’t think that ended up happening.

Littlepage’s attorney, Elizabeth Mullin, argued that there were others who had keys to Knight’s apartment, and that police had yet to produce the screwdriver they’ve suggested Littlepage used to stab Knight to death. Littlepage’s next hearing is July 7.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery