FBI Joins Aidan Ellison Murder Investigation In Oregon

Federal authorities have joined the investigation into the murder of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison who was fatally shot in the early morning hours of November 23 in the parking lot of the Stratford Inn in Ashland, Oregon.  

Robert Keegan was arrested by police for the murder following a dispute over the volume of Ellison’s music. 

According to a report by Oregon Live, Keegan pleaded not guilty to several charges including second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful possession of a weapon, and reckless endangerment. 

Now, federal authorities are working with local police to determine if Keegan's actions the morning of November 23 violated federal laws.

An affidavit says that Keegan was staying at the hotel and was awakened by Ellison’s music coming from the parking lot. Keegan said in the affidavit he asked Ellison to turn down his music but refused. 

After, Keegan got dressed and “collected his gun,” before making a complaint to the hotel’s clerk. The clerk was speaking to Ellison in the parking lot, according to the court document, when Keegan confronted him. 

Keegan said he feared for his safety when the confrontation led to an argument with Ellison, who, according to the affidavit, struck Keegan in the face. Keegan shot Ellison in the chest, killing him. 

A preliminary autopsy report showed no evidence that Ellison ever hit Keegan, as he said in the affidavit. 

Though the FBI hasn't specified which federal laws Keegan could have violated, local authorities have not taken hate crime off the table.

A spokesperson for the Ashland Police Department told Oregon Live the case hasn’t been labeled a hate crime but that it’s “important to examine all aspects of this case and determine whether a bias crime has been committed.” 

Local activists are condemning Ellison’s murder as “another example of Southern Oregon’s racist history with and current practice of white supremacy.” 

Keegan’s next court date is February 22, 2021 and he is currently in police custody without bail. 

Photo: Getty Images

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