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26 November 2020

Accused killer's ex remembers 'the monster' who terrorized her


Robert Keegan – Courtesy JCSO

By Brad Smith

ASHLAND, Ore – Some people aren’t shocked by Robert Paul “Bob” Keegan’s arrest after he allegedly shot a young Black man on Nov. 23.

His ex-wife Amy Jo Hoppins is one of them.

While a GoFundMe account in Keegan’s name proclaims that he’s a kind and loving man, a good father – Hoppins and others say otherwise.

“Bob’s a violent man. Violent, manipulative, abusive and cruel,” she said. “Everyday I was with him, I felt threatened. I was strangled, suffocated and hit. I lost count the number of times he threatened to shoot me. He even drugged me from time to time. And, even worse, was how abusive he was to my son. One time, he even lit a torch and threatened to burn my home. Yes, he’s that crazed. He was a monster.”

A son that Keegan had custody of at the time of the shooting. Keegan and his son were staying at the Stratford Inn after claiming he’d lost his home during the Almeda Fire. While media reports stated Keegan was from Talent, Hoppins said her ex’s last known address was on the 300 block of Kent Street in Ashland.

At around 4:20 a.m. Monday, Keegan, allegedly shot and killed a young Black man named Aidan Ellison, 19, Ashland. Ellison was reportedly in the Ashland's Stratford Inn parking lot and listening to music. Cops said that Keegan was not happy about the loud music and -- armed with a concealed handgun -- went outside to confront Ellison. An argument ensued and Ellison was shot. Keegan was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm (Keegan didn't have a concealed weapon permit) and recklessly endangering another person. As of press time, Keegan is in the county jail and held without bond.

While it has been reported that Keegan didn’t have a criminal record, Hoppins stated that in 2012 she got a restraining order against him when they lived in Coos County. However, she claimed that Keegan routinely violated the restraining order and the physical and emotional abuse continued.

“He’d force his way into my home and take my phone and car keys,” she said. “And, when I did make a report – nothing was done. Bob had a way of convincing people that he was the good guy. He’s still good at it.”

One anonymous source claimed they knew both Hoppins and Keegan when they were together.

“Amy was always terrified,” they said. “Not only of Keegan but his goddamned family. Some of them threatened her on a number of occasions and she didn’t know what to do.”

Hoppins said in January 2015 Keegan left with her son. She has been waging a fight to get custody of her son and, ever since, the threats have continued.

“At one point, my lawyer said it was a good idea to leave,” she said. “So, I did. I’m in another part of the country and I’m still afraid. My son, when we do talk, has told me about Bob and his family talking about what they want to do to me. Yes, I’m scared as hell.”

The anonymous source said it was possible that Keegan supposedly had his records expunged – explaining why nothing is on record.

“He’s just the sort of slime who would do that,” they said.

Hoppins said she’s contacted the Ashland Police Dept. and told them about her past with Keegan. She has also doubled down on her efforts to get custody of her son.

“I don’t think he’s safe with (Keegan’s) family,” she said. “They’re just as bad as he is. He needs to be somewhere safe from them.”

Hoppins said Keegan might have a bail hearing next month and that bothers her.

“I’m worried that he will come after me next,” she said. “Bob thinks he’ll get away with murdering this young man and he’ll be emboldened after this. I worry about what he might do to my son. He’s that dangerous.”

Hoppins said she “grieves” over Ellison’s death.

“He’s dead and my ex is responsible for it,” she said. “I’m so sorry for his family and friends and I wish I could do something for them. That young man didn’t deserve that. And his loved ones don’t deserve this pain and suffering now. No one does. I want them to know that they’re in my heart and prayers. I just wish I could do something for them.”

She hopes Ellison’s loved ones will find justice.

“I hope they lock up (Keegan) for life,” she said. “I hope the investigation will reveal other things about him and what he’s done. What he did to Aidan – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m certain of it. That’s why I’m hiding from him and his family.”


  1. Thank you for digging for the truth and not whitewashing and victim blaming like other media

    1. Victim blaming. Look at the actions of the perpetrator. Actions speak louder than words. But the perpetrator is smooth talker. And thus far has managed to turn it all into the *Blame the Victim Game* as much as possible. GO TO THE COURT HOUSE! STAND UP FOR AIDAN ELLISON! .. in doing so you may well save a life - mine.

  2. Very good reporting, Brad. I must have hope for the family of Aidan Ellison, that they heal from this murder. I hope that one day, they have the strength to face Aidan’s killer, and to tell their story so that killer understands what he did. I truly hope Jo Hoppins has the courage to tell her story in court, so he can’t win over a jury, and his innocence can be disproved. And I hope this story will receive mainstream coverage not from the perspective of a helpless fire victim, but a racist hate crime that decimated a community.

    1. Please! Yes! Speak AIDAN ELLISON's name and het justice! He has a GoFundMe as do I. Please visit both our pages and help where you can.

  3. If you search him on
    You can see the court mandated classes for domestic violence and the no contact order. Pretty easy to find so why didn’t the local news report it?

  4. I can't say for sure, but I suspect that Southern Oregon is not blessed with many talented investigative journalists. They just report what they're told by the powers that be. Another reason might be they're scared of BLM activists protesting in our "safe" little bubble.

  5. This is not good journalism, but rather an excellent example of trash journalism. It is muckracking, offering no publicly-pertinent information, and conveys nothing about the character of the murder suspect except by hearsay or insinuation. It is written by and for people whose political convictions are strong enough to inform them (in their own minds) of what happened, without actually having any conclusive facts in their possession.

    1. Ms. Hopkins, as an alleged victim of spousal abuse, deserves a voice -- as does Aidan Ellison. It's on record that Keegan had a restraining order filed against him. Why KTVL or the other local media failed to check . . . well, they got sloppy.
      I've covered the crime beat for a long time. The fact that Keegan armed himself and went out to confront someone is a major red flag. But, but all means, go on and play a good ally to the BIPOC community when it suits your ego.

    2. Is there "good journalism" in the Rogue Valley? Which of the TV stations have "good journalists"? Rosebud Media has a monopoly on print media. In the Ashland Tidings no report was made on the victim of this crime. Is that "good journalism"? You have a murder committed in your town and nowhere can you find information from "journalists". Facebook and the Rogue Free Press are the only sources for details. A young man is dead; do you get that, Zach? Do you care?

    3. I have scars all over my body that are visible damage from Robert Paul Keegan's sadistic abuse of me. I suffered years of his incessant screaming how he's having another mental breakdown. His actions prove the person he is. Facts. flying Monkey...

    4. Zack, Your comment makes you appear cold and heartless. You speak as if you are a member of the accused's family. The accused actions and the actual reality of his actions speak for themselves. This is a guy who needs to be in prison for the rest of his life.


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