Former ice cream truck driver who killed 2 brothers in mistaken identity case sentenced to life

A former ice cream truck driver convicted of killing two people and seriously injuring four others in a Florida shooting in 2010 was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, more than 12 years after the attack.

Michael Keetley was convicted in March of two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder.

“It’s been a very long road and a very difficult case,” Judge Christopher Sabella said when the sentencing was announced. “What this shows to the victims in this case is that justice is not always quick, but justice is ultimately served.”

He sentenced Keetley, 52, to life in prison on each of the six counts he faced, without the possibility of parole.

Juan Guitron, 28, and Sergio Guitron, 22, were shot and killed and four others were seriously injured in November 2010 on the porch of a house in Ruskin, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day.

Prosecutors argued Keetley carried out the attack in a case of mistaken identity that was the deadly culmination of an obsession with revenge. He had been robbed and shot about a year before the shooting and was frustrated with the official investigation into the robbery, prosecutors said, and decided to take matters into his own hands.

He became falsely convinced that a man nicknamed “Creeper” was behind the robbery and was looking for him that night in November 2010. Those killed and injured had nothing to do with Keetley’s robbery, prosecutors said. Neither did the man nicknamed Creeper, who was not among the six men shot dead in Ruskin’s home, police said.

The defense argued that the survivors of the shooting had identified the wrong man and that Keetley was not capable of carrying out the attack due to the injuries he suffered when he was shot and robbed months earlier .

“It’s our defence, Michael Keetley is not guilty because he didn’t do it. Michael Keetley didn’t do it, he couldn’t do it. He’s not medically capable,” attorney John Grant said during the trial.

Richard Escobar, another member of the defense team, argued that law enforcement officials made multiple mistakes after the 2010 attack, saying “the ensuing investigation was nothing less than a nightmare in itself”.

Before sentencing on Friday, Sabella denied requests for a new trial and acquittal.

Keetley’s lawyers said after sentencing that they intended to appeal.

Paz Quezada, the mother of Juan and Sergio Guitron, spoke directly to Keetley during the sentencing hearing, telling him he ‘took half my life’ and ‘destroyed my heart’ .

“My sons were the only thing I had,” she said. “I loved them with all my heart.

Gonzalo Guevara, who survived the shooting, wore a T-shirt with a picture of the Guitron brothers as he addressed the court.

“He caused so much pain for everyone involved,” he said.

“You’ve hurt so many people,” Guevara told Keetley directly. “We know what you did that night and you know what you did that night.”

Quezada told NBC News ahead of sentencing that Friday was also her birthday, and her only wish is the one she’s clung to since the night of the attack: that the man who tore her united family apart be released. gap for the rest. of his life.

“It’s the best gift that God can give me,” she said in tears. She said she prayed for the strength to live to see the day when her sons would have justice. “I continue to fight for my sons. I will never forget them.

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