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LaBelle man sentenced to life in prison for killing Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer

Posted at 12:01 PM, Mar 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-30 13:09:39-04

HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. — A LaBelle man was sentenced to life in prison in the shooting death of an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Officer Julian Keen in Hendry County.

Eliceo Hernandez

Eliceo Hernandez is sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder with a firearm and attempted second-degree murder with a firearm in the killing of 30-year-old officer Keen.

The shooting happened on June 14, 2020.

Investigators say officer Keen was off-duty and at his LaBelle home with a friend when they heard a loud crash. They looked outside and noticed a black truck leaving the scene of an accident.

They both got into their vehicles and drove after the truck. This continued along County Road 78, and through a convenience store parking lot when Hernandez turned north on Nobles Road.

At that time, Officer Keen’s friend struck the black truck in the rear, causing it to go off the roadway. The Hernandez maintained control and traveled north a short distance before the truck was struck once again, trying to get it to stop. He lost control and crashed into a ditch at Nobles Road and Apache Circle.

Officer Keen then drove into the convenience store parking lot and continued on foot to the crash scene. Hernandez grabbed his gun and jumped out of his truck, and got into a waiting car, driven by his girlfriend.

They drove around the block and came back to the crash scene and then he got out of the car and shot at both men. One bullet struck and killed Officer Keen.

Right after the shooting, the suspect got back in the car and left the scene.

Hernandez was arrested and charged with the crime.

A jury found him guilty earlier this month following a trial in Hendry County.