Family demands charges filed in deadly neighbor dispute

Keegan Roberts, 22, fatally shot by neighbor, police say

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man is still walking free after police said he shot and killed his 22-year-old neighbor during a confrontation last month. 

The shooting happened just after midnight July 20 on Peach Street, south of Beach Boulevard.

The man, who News4Jax has chosen not to name, told police he shot Keegan Roberts when Roberts pulled out a gun during an argument.

But Roberts' family members told News4Jax on Wednesday that there's more to the story, and they're furious about the case.

Roberts' widow, Eliany Roberts, said she believes there's enough evidence to prove the man had every intention of killing her husband, but the State Attorney's Office isn't pursuing charges.

Eliany Roberts said she saw their neighbor come over to their property before shooting her husband to death in their driveway -- a memory that will never leave her mind.

"My husband's last words were, 'Oh my God,'" she said. "And then he just fell to the floor and then he couldn't say anymore because his lungs were filling up with blood."

No arrests have been made. According to investigators, the man who shot Roberts is claiming self-defense and he said Roberts pulled out a gun. But Roberts' widow said the gun never left her husband's waistband.

Attorney John Phillips, who represents Roberts' family, sent News4Jax a release detailing new information on what happened the night of the shooting.

According to Phillips, Roberts and his pregnant wife were sitting in their car in the driveway when the neighbor approached them “in an act of aggression,” causing Roberts to get out of the car. That’s when he was shot three to four times. Phillips said it’s “his understanding” the neighbor claimed Roberts pointed a gun at him. Phillips also disputes Roberts had a gun, but said even if he was armed, he didn’t fire a shot, and had the right to defend his property and his wife.

Phillips and Roberts' family met with the State Attorney’s Office Tuesday, and Phillips said he was told by the lead prosecutor, “Until we have enough evidence, there will not be an arrest.”

"They say that they don't have enough evidence, and they need more evidence," Eliany Roberts said. "But it's pretty clear -- you have the confession, you have the person who did it, you have the gun, the fingerprints, the scene of the crime."

Knowing the man who fatally shot Roberts is still free has caused major stress on the family, and Eliany Roberts lost their unborn child due to stress.

"As of a result of this, Eliany has lost the baby. The baby was 5 months old and now I just had a funeral for my son and now I'm having a funeral for my granddaughter," said Cecilia Shepard, Roberts' mother.

News4Jax asked the State Attorney's Office for comment, and a spokesperson said all they could say is that the investigation is still active.

“I just want justice for my husband," Eliany Roberts said. "I don’t get to have him back. The least I can have is some justice.”

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