Robert Paul Keegan pleads not guilty to shooting Aidan Ellison black teen following argument over loud music. Was shooting inspired by racism?
An Oregon man accused of killing a black teen at a hotel following a dispute involving loud music has pleaded not guilty, prosecutors said.
Robert Paul Keegan, 47, of Talent, entered the plea Friday to charges including second-degree murder in the fatal Nov. 23 shooting of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison, according to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
Keegan — who was staying at the Stratford Inn hotel in Ashland with his 3-year-old son after being displaced from their home in September during one of the state’s wildfires — became enraged by Ellison for playing loud music in the parking lot at about 4 a.m. as the pair argued.
Around 4:20 a.m, Keegan pulled a gun from his coat and fired a single shot, striking Ellison in the chest, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara discussing Keegan’s alleged motive said the ‘only thing’ that caused Ellison’s death was the suspect’s actions.
What led up to shooting immaterial say cops
‘It is completely immaterial what led up to it,’ O’Meara said in a Facebook statement. ‘Yes, there was an argument over music, no, this this did not happen because of loud music, it happened because the suspect chose to bring a gun with him and chose to use it, 100 percent on him, not the poor young man that was murdered.’
O’Meara in a Facebook said that the pair had argued over Ellison’s blaring music prior to the deadly shooting, but the post has since been deleted, The Oregonian reported.
An Oregon advocacy group, meanwhile, said the teen’s murder is another example of ‘Oregon’s racist history with and current practice’ of white supremacy.
‘To be clear, Aidan was murdered because he was a young black person who made a white man uncomfortable and refused to submit to that man’s personally-perceived authority – not because he was listening to music too loudly,’ the Southern Oregon Black Leaders, Activists and Community Coalition (SOBLACC) said in a statement.
#AidanEllison should be alive today but Robert Keegan fatally shot him over “loud music” — BUT this was NOT about music. That’s false justification for killing a Black teen!
This was a racially motivated shooting by a suspected white supremacist!! #JusticeForAidanEllison pic.twitter.com/ApYFkZJcMv
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) November 29, 2020
Motivated by race?
Which is to wonder would Keegan still have shot Ellison had he been white or were his actions informed irrespective of race?
The teen’s slaying is the only homicide in Ashland this year, SOBLACC officials said.
Keegan, who also pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm and recklessly endangering another person, was ordered held without bail ahead of his next court appearance on Feb. 22, prosecutors said.
‘He had nothing, but yet even if he had something he would give it to you no questions asked,’ friend, Sunmoon Oh told KMVU.