Michael Keetley, a former ice cream truck driver from Florida, on Tuesday, was found guilty of two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder for killing two brothers and injuring four others over a decade ago.
Who is Michael Keetley?
Michael Keetley executed the crime on Thanksgiving Day in 2010 when Keetley allegedly sought revenge at the wrong home and shot six men who were playing cards and drinking beer on the front porch of a house in Ruskin, Florida.
Sergio and Juan Guitron died in the shooting, while the others survived. Prosecutors claim that Keetley was seeking revenge for an incident that took place 11 months prior when he was robbed, beaten up, and shot in the hand and shoulder while working from his blue ice cream truck.
During the trial, a surgeon who treated Keetley’s bullet-shattered hand and shoulder testified that the injuries would have made it difficult for him to use a firearm.
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Dr David Halpern explained that the shooting had damaged a nerve in Keetley’s arm that controls movement in the hands and fingers. Keetley’s attorney asked if he would have any ability to extend his fingers, thumb, or wrist in his right hand, and Dr Halpern answered no to all the questions.
The attorney also explained that racking a shotgun takes both hands to operate, and it would be challenging for Keetley to operate a shotgun due to his extensive injuries.
However, during cross-examination, Jennifer Johnson, assistant state attorney used a water bottle to demonstrate that it may be difficult, but not impossible, for Keetley to hold an object in his right hand.
Johnson showed that if the water bottle is taken, and fingers are moved out of the way and placed into his hand, he can grip and hold it. Dr Halpern confirmed that Keetley had the strength, although diminished, in his right hand to hold something that was placed there.
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The jury also heard from Jacqueline Burgess, Keetley’s sister’s mother-in-law, who saw Keetley and his parents for Thanksgiving Dinner at her son and daughter-in-law’s home around noon on the day of the shooting. She said she never saw Keetley use his right hand, and that his mother had to cut his food for him.
Despite the testimonies from Dr Halpern and Burgess, Keetley was found guilty on all counts and faces life in prison without parole. The judge set a sentencing date of May 26 at 9 a.m.