HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. — A jury has found Eliceo Hernandez guilty of killing an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Officer in Hendry County.
The 23-year-old is convicted of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder with a firearm in the killing of 30-year-old Officer Julian Keen.
Hernandez was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident but was not found guilty.
The fatal shooting happened back in 2020 near Nobles Road and County Road 78 in LaBelle, where the officer's body was found.
Wednesday was the start of jury selection and ended with five jurors being selected but the full pool not being seated.
HAPPENING NOW: 23-year-old Eliceo Hernandez just entered the courtroom. He is the man charged with killing a Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer. Jury Selection for the trial is expected to start in about 45 minutes. https://t.co/teNmc5RYmW— Briana Brownlee (@BreBrownleeTV) March 7, 2023
At the time of the shooting two years ago, those who knew Officer Keen spoke with FOX 4.
“I just want to say sorry to his family. He's in a better place now," said Ericka Garcia, a friend of Officer Keen.
"He became like a son to me. He was always coming over and doing things. When Hurricane Irma came, he came over and cranked my generator, brought fuel, and he wouldn't take any money," said Terrie Pearce, Officer Keen's Landlord.
Court documents told the story from back in the summer of 2020 of Hendry County deputies finding Officer Keen lying in a ditch after being shot in the chest.
Investigators say Officer Keen and another person saw Hernandez driving recklessly When the off-duty officer tried to stop him, investigators said Hernandez killed him.
"Who's going to kill somebody so popular, so friendly, so wonderful," Pearce questioned.