Ice Cream Man Takes Revenge — Then He Goes to Prison

Revenge is something that most of us can understand. After all, it’s only human to exact on others the pain they have caused us. But sometimes, revenge goes too far. Sometimes, people who just wanted to get even end up spending the rest of their lives in prison. But is revenge ever excusable in Florida? Can you defend yourself after taking revenge on someone in a violent manner? According to one recent case involving an ice cream man in Florida, the answer would seem to be no. But this is just one example.

The Sad Story of Michael Keetley

On March 28th, Michael Keetley was found guilty of double murder and attempted murder in a Tampa courtroom. The man once worked as an ice cream man. In 2010, he was left for dead — permanently disabled after being shot four times. Criminals stole $12 from his ice cream truck and apparently got away with it.

Over the next 10 months, Keetley plotted his revenge — or at least that’s what prosecutors argued. He planned out the attack and wore law enforcement clothing to intimidate the victims, forcing them to lie on the ground, and then executed two of them. This was an act of revenge and vigilantism, the prosecutors claimed.

But for the next ten years, it became very difficult to prove the ice cream man’s guilt. No one could prove that he owned any of the weapons that were apparently used in the execution. Only two jurors found him guilty in the first trial, so it was considered a mistrial. During the second trial, the jurors were more convinced of his guilt, and they finally convicted him of murder. Still, it took them three days to deliberate.

Is Revenge Ever Justified?

Revenge may be justified legally in specific situations. The obvious example is self-defense. If this ice cream man had pulled out a shotgun hidden inside his ice cream van when he was initially attacked by criminals, he would have likely been fully justified in killing them. His life would have been in danger, and he would have had no other option. But because this individual apparently planned his revenge carefully for a full 10 months, the court had no choice but to charge him — and later convict him — of premeditated murder.

Whenever you have time to think about your actions and you still commit a crime, it is very difficult to prove your innocence. If you’re going to take revenge, it’s better to do it in the heat of the moment and in self-defense rather than taking the time to plan out an elaborate attack.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Defense Attorney in Largo?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced defense attorney in Largo, look no further than Trevena Pontrello & Associates. With our assistance, you can strive for the best possible results. Some revenge can be legal — including justifiable self-defense against someone who’s trying to kill you. But you always need to work with a qualified defense attorney if you want to fight for your rights effectively. Book your consultation today to get started with a defense strategy.


  1. https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/florida-ice-cream-man-michael-keetley-found-guilty-of-double-murder-and-attempted-murder/
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/28/florida-plastic-surgeon-tomasz-kosowski-charged-murder-steve-cozzi


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