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phillips, hunt & walker ABOUT KEEGAN ROBERTS AND THE CASE:


Victim: Keegan Von Roberts

Killer: Michael Centanni

Status: Police Refused to Arrest; Prosecutors Refused to Prosecute. Civil Suit Filed.


On July 20, 2017, Keegan Roberts’s neighbor, Michael Centanni, continued to harass Keegan and his family by leaving notes on his car. On this day, Centanni was harassing his neighbor over litter or debris in the yard. According to the family, Centanni previously had expressed anger at his neighbors, using hate words like “n*****.”

Keegan Roberts left the residence to go on a date with his wife, Eliany Roberts. Upon return, they were sitting in the car in their driveway when a person, later identified as the aforementioned neighbor, Michael Centanni, engaged in an act of aggression or assault upon Mr. Roberts’s vehicle or in the direction of Mr. Roberts. Mr. Roberts ignored it at first, but as Centanni banged on his vehicle and yelled at Mr. Roberts and his wife, Roberts exited his vehicle. Mr. Roberts was shot three to four times by Michael Centanni. He died on the scene. Mr. Roberts never fired in response.

It is our understanding Michael Centanni claims Mr. Roberts aimed a gun in his direction. Although we dispute a gun was ever pointed at Michael Centanni, Mr. Roberts was on his own property and had a right to defend his property, his person and his nearby pregnant wife from aggression and harm. Further, if Mr. Roberts indeed was armed, evidence showed he never fired despite Centanni having a chance to pull out his gun, chamber a round and fire multiple shots.

Police refused to arrest. Prosecutors refused to prosecute. Not only did the State Attorney Melissa Nelson refuse to prosecute, but she issued an unnecessary “disposition report,” which spelled out the weaknesses in the State’s case to the benefit of Centanni and detriment of future charges.

Possible Charges (non filed):

Manslaughter: Under 782.07, Florida Statutes, Manslaughter is defined as, “The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.775.084

Second Degree Murder is, “The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree.”

First Degree Murder: Under 782.04, Florida Statutes, Murder is, “The unlawful killing of a human being: When perpetrated from a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or any human being.”

Possible Defense:

Stand Your Ground:

Under 776.012(2), A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.


However, under 776.041, governs the “Use or threatened use of force by aggressor.” It states, “The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who: Initially provokes the use or threatened use of force against himself or herself, unless: (a) Such force or threat of force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use or threatened use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use or threatened use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use or threatened use of force.”

(video courtesy AJ+):


Home Page

Evidence Locker

Estate of Keegan Roberts v. Michael Centanni Case Notes

Folio Weekly Cover Story: The Dead Bear NO WITNESS

Florida Times Union Article from date of incident (July 20, 2017)

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