Autopsy casts doubt on claim that Ellison punched Keegan before fatal shot

MEDFORD, Ore. – More witnesses were called to the stand as the Robert Keegan murder trial continues.

We heard from multiple witnesses Wednesday, including a state medical examiner who looked at Aidan Ellison’s body and performed the autopsy.

“Were any obvious injuries or scrapes noted on his hand,” prosecution attorney Ben Lull said.

“No there weren’t,” OSP medical examiner Dr. James Olson said. “Not on the right or left hands. And then I subsequently made a decision to make incisions along the tops of both hands over the knuckles and then the tops of the thumb and finger to see if there was any bruising of those internally, there wasn’t any.”

Dr. Olson said there was no bruises or cuts on Aidan Ellison’s hands.

On day one of the trial, the defense argued that Robert Keegan was punched multiple times by Ellison before Keegan fired the fatal shot in Ashland’s Stratford Inn parking lot in November 2020.

According to Dr. Olson, one bullet struck Ellison in the chest, before exiting and re-entering through the top of his left arm, where the bullet was found.

The defense pressed Dr. Olson on how that was possible if Ellison’s sweatshirt only had one hole in it.

“So, where on the sweatshirt did it exist the shirt,” defense attorney Alyssa Bartholomew said.

“I don’t have any photographs that I can recall,” Dr. Olson said.

“Can you look at your notes, please,” Bartholomew said.

“I just don’t,” Dr. Olson said.

“So that’s just your own independent recollection,” Bartholomew said.

“It is,” Dr. Olson said. “It would be assigned to the crime lab to process the shirt.”

He said Ellison was only alive for seconds after he was struck because of where the bullet hit him.

Testimony from forensic scientists confirmed Ellison’s blood alcohol content level was .114 and that he had marijuana in his system.

The defense said in opening arguments Tuesday that Ellison was drunk and high at the time of his death.

The scientist who preformed the drug test disagreed with part of that.

He testified that he was not able to confirm Ellison was high when Keegan shot him.

“These tests could be positive for days after a person has used marijuana even though the effects and high can least for a few hours,” OSP forensic scientist Kaylon Wells said.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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