Guilty Verdict in Murder of Off-Duty FWC Officer

Sentencing has been scheduled for March 30, 2023, for Eliceo Hernandez, after he was found guilty of Second Degree Murder with a Firearm and Attempted Second
Degree Murder, for shooting and killing off-duty Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Julian Keen Jr. The jury returned the guilty verdict just after 6 p.m. Thursday evening, following a three-day trial in Hendry County.

On June 14, 2020, the victim was 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. The victim and his friend both got into their personal vehicles and drove after the black truck. This continued along County Road 78, and through a convenience store parking lot, when the suspect turned north on Nobles Road.

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

The victim then drove into the convenience store parking lot and continued on foot to the crash scene. The defendant grabbed his gun and jumped out of his truck, and got into a black Dodge Charger, 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 the victim. 

Right after the shooting, the suspect got back into the car and left the scene. An investigation by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office led to the location of the vehicle and the identification and arrest of the defendant for the crime.

Assistant State Attorney Andreas Gardiner and Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller, both in the Homicide Unit, prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office