A former Florida ice cream man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday morning for the murders of two men in Ruskin, Florida, nearly 13 years ago in a case of revenge and mistaken identity.
A Hillsborough County jury found Michael Keetley, 52, guilty on two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder in late March for a Thanksgiving Day 2010 shooting in which he targeted a group of men playing cards outside of a home, according to FOX 13.
Keetley had sought revenge after he was robbed and shot in the hand while working as an ice cream man nearly a year earlier, prosecutors said, adding that the men who were shot had nothing to do with the robbery.
Brothers Sergio Guitron and Juan Guitron were killed in the shooting, and four other men were seriously wounded.
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Keetley’s lawyers had argued that the surviving victims misidentified him as the shooter and a doctor for the defense testified that the injuries to his hand from the shooting during the robbery would have made it nearly impossible for him to have fired shotgun used in the murders.
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During cross-examination, however, one of the prosecutors demonstrated that it would be difficult but possible.
Keetley faced trial on the same charges in 2020, but a mistrial was declared because of a hung jury.
Keetley has 30 days to appeal, according to FOX 13.
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“I am proud of our talented prosecutors for seeing this difficult case to the end in honor of the victims of this heinous killer,” State Attorney Suzy Lopez said of Keetley’s conviction. “We appreciate the jury for their time, attention, and dedication to this complicated case.
“We hope this verdict provides a level of peace and closure for the families who have had to live through this nightmare for the last 12 years.”
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