A neighborhood ice cream man who prosecutors say turned into a revenge-seeking vigilante is headed back to court for a retrial on double murder charges. Michael Keetley, 53, stands accused of gunning down two men on Thanksgiving Day 2010.
The Florida man lost $12 and gained a permanent disability during a robbery in January of that year that left him outside his purple ice cream truck with four gunshot wounds. Ten months later, brothers 28-year-old Juan Guitron and 22-year-old Sergio Guitron, were found dead; presumably an act of revenge by the defendant.
Keetley maintained his innocence as he spent more than 10 years in Falkenburg Road County Jail before finally standing trial in 2020. In that trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, with only two jurors believing he was guilty. Now, he will face a jury for a second time on two counts of first-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder. During his initial police interview, the defendant pointed to his injuries as a reason for not being able to carry out the murders.
“What am I going to do,” Keetley asked during his police interview. “Hobble over there and shoot them left-handed?”
This week, a new jury will hear about the tragic last moments of the victims, known by friends as “Magic” and “Spider.” According to survivor Daniel Beltran, who testified in the first trial, the shooter emerged from a dark van sometime after 2 a.m. wearing a T-shirt with the word “sheriff” across the chest and carrying a long gun.
The gunman proceeded to charge the front porch of the Ruskin home, where a group of men was playing cards, and asked for someone named “Creeper.” After lining everyone up on the ground and asking for identification, Juan Guitron was the first man to protest and the first to be shot and killed.
Gonzalo Guevara, another shooting survivor, testified that he was able to get a good look at the gunman, who he unequivocally identified as being Keetley.
Opening statements begin on Monday in Tampa. Keetley faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
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