Ice cream man sentenced to life in prison for 2010 Ruskin murders

TAMPA — A dozen years have handed since a gunman, posing as a police officer, shot six blameless males at the entrance porch of a Ruskin house on Thanksgiving morning. Recently, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Sabella sentenced Michael Keetley to life in prison for the crime. This necessary sentence punctuated what Sabella said were an strangely lengthy and tough case.

“But it has finally come to an end,” Sabella stated. “What it has shown to the victims in this case is justice is not always swift, but justice is eventually served.”

Keetley remained silent right through the listening to, and his legal professionals stated there was once a lot he needed to say, however they’d recommended him to keep silent as a substitute. They plan to enchantment his conviction, as Keetley maintains his innocence.

Shackled and dressed in a pink prison uniform, Keetley sat along with his attorneys, resting his chin on his palms. He refused to have a look at Paz Quezada, whose sons Juan and Sergio Guitron had been killed in the taking pictures, as she addressed the courtroom via a Spanish interpreter.

“My question to him is one that I’ve always wanted to ask him,” she stated. “Why did you kill my sons? … My children were the only people that I had. I loved them with all of my heart. And I want to know how you feel now that you’ve taken them away from me.”

The case concerned a lot circumstantial proof, and the state’s case had important weaknesses. This integrated inconsistent ballistic proof, witness descriptions of the shooter that numerous, and procedural errors investigators made. Although two surviving witnesses picked Keetley out of a photograph lineup, this was once after phrase had unfold that he was once the shooter. The case was once difficult additional through felony questions over who would constitute Keetley.

When the case in spite of everything reached trial in February 2020, a jury was once not able to make a decision if he was once to blame, and a mistrial was once declared. A 2d jury held a monthlong trial this 12 months and deliberated 13 hours over 3 days ahead of returning a to blame verdict to all fees.

Before the sentencing on Friday, protection lawyer John Grant made a lively argument for the pass judgement on to grant a brand new trial and excited by more than a few bits of proof proven to the jury and arguments made through the state that he claimed must had been excluded. However, the pass judgement on declined their request and famous that an appeals courtroom would evaluate the case.

In addition to Paz Quezada, one of the survivors of the taking pictures spoke in courtroom. Daniel Beltran, who was once shot a number of occasions and survived, steered Keetley to search God’s forgiveness. He stated: “It was the devil. It wasn’t you.” Gonzalo Guevara, any other survivor, wore a blouse bearing a photograph of the Guitron brothers and the phrases “In Loving Memory.” He instructed Keetley: “You were a coward that night. We know what you did that night. And you know what you did that night. They say forgiving people helps you heal, but I can’t forgive you.”

Finally, Keetley was once sentenced to life imprisonment for two counts of first-degree homicide for the deaths of the Guitron brothers and the tried murders of 4 different males. The sentencing marked a protracted finish to a hard and painful case.

Paz Quezada, middle, wipes her tears whilst talking in courtroom
throughout the sentencing listening to for Michael Keetley on Friday in Tampa.
Keetley gained life in prison for the deaths of Juan and Sergio
Guitron and the tried murders of 4 different males.

[ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

Paz Quezada, proper, speaks with Daniel Beltran, 37, of Apollo
Beach, throughout the sentencing listening to for Michael Keetley, Friday in
Tampa. Keetley gained life in prison for the deaths of Juan and
Sergio Guitron and the tried murders of 4 different males, together with

[ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

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