Keegan Trial: Stratford Inn employee who witnessed fatal shooting testifies

MEDFORD, Ore. – Perhaps the most interesting testimony yet, coming on the third day of this trial Thursday.

We heard from the Stratford Inn employee, who witnessed the altercation between Robert Keegan and Aidan Ellison, that ultimately led to Ellison’s death.

“I was just in disbelief because it happened so quickly,” Stratford Inn clerk Angel Carlin said. “Right after it happens, Aidan kind of leans on a truck and is grabbing his side but I couldn’t see anything where it looked like he was wounded, that’s why wasn’t sure if he got hit.”

Carlin, who worked the early morning of November 23, 2020 said he was asked by Keegan to check in on loud music coming from outside.

Carlin said he noticed Keegan was agitated when he first approached.

He went outside to confront Ellison about the music, then says a fight broke out between the two.

Surveillance camera footage from the hotel lobby showed the entire incident only took roughly two minutes to unfold.

The detective that interviewed Keegan also testified.

He believes Keegan lied about how he retrieved the gun.

“I had concerns,” the detective said. “I thought there might, I didn’t think he was being honest about the gun. He said that he went downstairs and when he outside to put his hands in his pocket, that’s when he realized he had the gun in his pocket.”

“But at the end of the interview, is that what he’s still saying,” prosecution attorney Ben Lull said.

“No, he told me he grabbed the gun and the coat intentionally when he left the room,” the detective said.

Keegan is charged with multiple crimes, including murder in the 2nd degree, and manslaughter in the first degree.

He doesn’t deny shooting and killing the 19-year-old Ashland man outside the Stratford Inn.

He claims he was punched first.

On day two, the medical examiner said there were no notable scrapes or bruises on Ellison’s hands indicating he’d punched anyone.

Carlin noted that Ellison swung first, but he did not see any punches land.

A forensic scientist confirmed Ellison had a blood alcohol content level of .114 at his time of death.

Carlin said he didn’t think Ellison was angry, but instead upset that someone was yelling at him from a hotel room.

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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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