The wife of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner, who was fatally shot in the line of duty, said she is happy with the outcome of the trial after Keltner’s murderer was convicted.
“It’s hard to even know what to say about the last two weeks. I saw and heard things I can’t unsee/hear and I’m emotionally drained. It was hard to hear all the details of what happened (on) March 7, 2019 and even harder to hear him try to justify what he did,” Becki Keltner said in a public Facebook post.
A federal trial began on March 28 for Floyd E. Brown, 42, of Springfield, who was charged with multiple felonies for shooting and killing Jacob Keltner, 35.
Keltner, who was a sheriff’s deputy in McHenry County for almost 13 years, worked as a Special Deputy for the U.S. Marshal Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.
The task force on March 7, 2019, was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Brown, who was staying at the Extended Stay America Hotel in Rockford to avoid apprehension on outstanding warrants that he had for residential burglary.
When the task force knocked on the front door of the third-floor room where Brown was staying, he opened fire on the officers with a high-powered rifle.
After firing ten shots and narrowly missing a deputy U.S. Marshal and two special deputy U.S. Marshals, Brown jumped out of a window and fired a shot that fatally struck Keltner, who was covering the exterior of the hotel.
“I saw just how many people he affected from his heinous, hatred acts and that hurt,” Becki Keltner said.
“But I also saw how many people tried to help Jake, which brings me comfort.”
Keltner appreciated the support she has received from friends and family.
Brown fled the scene in a vehicle and led Illinois State Police and other agencies on a 150-mile pursuit.
Pursuit speed reached over 100 mph until Brown’s vehicle came to a stop on Interstate 55 near Lincoln, Illinois when he ran over spike strips.
Brown was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder of a government officer, two counts of assaulting or impeding a federal officer, unlawful transport of firearms, possession of defaced firearms, firearm possession in furtherance of violent crime where death occurs and firearm possession in furtherance of violent crime.
A jury on Friday found Brown guilty of all charges except for first-degree murder, which is considered premeditated murder.
The jury, however, found Brown guilty of second-degree murder, which is considered murder that is not premeditated.
“I’m happy with the outcome. We got him convicted of murder, attempted murder, and plenty of other charges. The ultimate goal was always to make sure he could never hurt someone again,” Becki Keltner said.
Keltner was thankful to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for supporting her and her two children.
“Will anything ever be enough to erase what he did? Absolutely not. We still have to live with the senseless and cruel loss of a man who made everyone smile with the sound of his laugh. But it could have been so much worse,” she said.
Keltner was fortunate that Brown missed the shots at the three other marshals.
Keltner said she plans on confronting Brown during his sentencing hearing on July 19 with a victim impact statement.
“I can finally look forward to whatever the future holds for me and having the weight of the trial off my shoulders feels better than you can imagine. Jake will always be watching over us as we move forward and I’m still the luckiest girl alive for being the one who got to love him,” she added.