Requested more time to prepare defense against charges for killing of Aidan Ellison
By Stephen Floyd for Ashland.news
A white Jackson County man accused of killing a black teenager in Ashland in 2020 has been given a new trial date for next February after his first trial was postponed.
Robert Paul Keegan, 49, of Talent, is scheduled for a 14-day trial beginning Feb. 27, 2023, for the killing of Aidan Ellison, 19, of Ashland, outside a local hotel.
Keegan is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm and reckless endangering and faces at least 25 years in prison. He was previously scheduled for trial Feb. 28, but received a continuance in January after requesting more time to prepare his defense.
Keegan remains held in the Jackson County Jail without bail.
He was arrested Nov. 23, 2020, after allegedly killing Ellison early that morning in the parking lot of Stratford Inn on Siskiyou Boulevard at Sherman Street. Police claim Keegan confronted Ellison during an argument about loud music Ellison was playing in his vehicle in the parking lot.
When the confrontation escalated, Keegan allegedly produced a handgun concealed in his jacket and shot Ellison once in the chest. The killing allegedly occurred while Ellison was standing near a hotel clerk who was attempting to de-escalate the conflict.
Keegan told police he shot Ellison in self-defense, and claimed Ellison struck him several times in the face. However, police observed no injuries to Keegan’s face supporting this claim, nor were corresponding injuries found on Ellison’s hands during an autopsy.
Keegan’s public defender, Alyssa Bartholomew, has asked the prosecution to provide reports of DNA evidence collected from Ellison’s hands during the autopsy. Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Lull told the court such evidence has yet to be analyzed as they are waiting for Keegan to volunteer a DNA sample for comparison, and as soon as the defendant complies the samples can be processed and the resulting reports provided to Bartholomew.
Lull said this DNA report was the last remaining piece of evidence requested by the defense, as all other items had been provided insofar as the state had access to them.
Email freelance reporter Stephen Floyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.