Accountability rally in Ashland ahead of Robert Keegan sentencing

ASHLAND, Ore. – Community members  and several community leaders organized a rally in Ashland Wednesday evening to demand accountability. Robert Keegan was found guilty earlier this week of 1st degree manslaughter, and not murder, after shooting and killing 19-year-old Aidan Ellison in November 2020.

Dozens packed Ashland Plaza demanding justice Ellison.

“It’s heartbreaking, you know, someone died. You have to do something, you have to stand out and protest and change our brains,” said Talent resident Abby Stason.

The group made up of community members and city leaders want the judge in the case to give Keegan the maximum sentence possible.

“I wrote a sign, Aidan has a life sentence. He got the maximum sentence, so why not someone else,” said Stason.

Keegan was found guilty of manslaughter on Monday. He admitted to shooting and killed the 19-year old former Ashland high student outside the Stratford Inn back in November 2020, but Keegan claimed Ellison punched him first. The medical examiner who performed Ellison’s autopsy said there was no physical evidence that Ellison punched Keegan.

Ashland City Councilor, Gina DuQuenne, is collecting hand written letters to give to the judge ahead of Keegan’s sentencing.

“If you have any, please give them to me. If you want to write one, we have supplies right over here,” she said.

Manslaughter in the 1st degree is a Measure Eleven Crime, meaning Keegan will get a mandatory minimum of 10 years for that charge.

“It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel proportionate. It doesn’t feel just,” said Stason. “I would like for a stiffer sentence, I would like for the justice system to be revamped, but let’s start here, right now, with this. Think globally, act locally.”

Keegan is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, May 12.

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Shellye Leggett is an anchor and producer for NBC5 News. You can also catch her anchoring on KMVU FOX26. She comes to the Rogue Valley from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was a nightside reporter and fill-in weekend anchor for KOAT Action 7 News for 3 years. She has also reported in Colorado Springs, Colorado, South Bend, Indiana and Bozeman, Montana. Shellye was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She graduated from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois with a B.A. in Communication Studies. She then earned a Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her husband who's in the Navy, her cat “Tootsie,” watch scary movies with friends and spend time with her extended family who live all over the West Coast. Shellye is excited to explore Southern Oregon and North California and tell your stories.
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