Wikipedia

Search results

31 December 2020

Violent right-wing extremist surrenders to OSP


 Jeremy Roberts booking mug. Marion Co. Sheriff's Office.


Screenshot of Roberts' Twitter account.


Roberts at a rally held earlier this year.


By Brad Smith

SALEM, Ore. – A right-wing extremist with a criminal past turned himself in to the Oregon State Police for his alleged role in a violent antigovernment riot at Salem Dec. 21.

According to the OSP, Jeremy Roberts, 40, Albany, Ore., turned himself in to the OSP on Dec. 27. He was booked into the Marion County Jail on the following charges:

·         Criminal Mischief

·         Disorderly Conduct

·         Assault

·         Harassment

·         Probation Violation Warrant

The arrest stems from a violent protest staged by right wing extremists on Dec. 21.

According to the OSP,  at approximately 8:30 a.m., a group of people attempted to enter and protest inside the Oregon State Capitol. The Oregon State Capitol was closed due to COVID precautions. The Oregon State Capitol had set up televisions outside of the building for people to monitor the proceedings inside. OSP troopers had checked and secured the doors to the Capitol. A door on the northwest corner of the building was opened by a person exiting the building. Several protesters entered the vestibule area.  There they were contacted by troopers and asked to leave. As troopers attempted to keep them from entering the main area of the Capitol, the altercation became physical (pushing). A protester sprayed some kind of chemical irritant (mace /OC / bear spray) into the vestibule. Troopers used inert pepper balls to keep the crowd back and Salem Police Dept. officers were able to keep the crowd contained in the vestibule.

OSP troopers and Salem police gave everyone in the vestibule several warnings to leave or they would be arrested for trespassing. At approximately 10:30 a.m., a protester again sprayed a chemical irritant at police. Police arrested Ryan Lyles for felon in possession of body armor and unlawful use of mace.  Protesters also deployed a device, which emitted smoke during the engagement.

Two people remained in the vestibule and were arrested: Ronald Vanvlack and Jerry Dyerson and charged with Criminal Trespass and Disorderly Conduct.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., the crowd again attempted to gain entry through a door on the west side of the Capitol.  The window to the door was broken, but the building was not accessed. Police arrested Jeremiah Pruitt for Criminal Mischief and Disorderly Conduct.

Roberts was also identified as a person that attempted to gain access through the west door and an attack on two reporters. He left the Capitol building and was sought after by law enforcement until he surrendered last Sunday.

According to court records, in August 2019, Roberts pleaded guilty to menacing in Marion County and was sentenced to a week in jail and two years of probation. Roberts punched a wall above the head of his girlfriend at the time, a probable cause statement reads.

Records also show that Roberts has a criminal history that includes assaulting law enforcement officers, criminal mischief, being an inmate in possession of a weapon and assaulting another inmate. His records stretch back over a few decades and there are allegations that he took part in a riot at a juvenile detention facility years ago.

The OSP is already bracing for another round of potentially violent protests that might occur over the New Year holiday.

 

 


15 December 2020

This looks bad . . . . The cop who shot and killed Taylor Dorrell

 A little insight on the deputy who shot and killed Casey Goodson, Jr.

It's chilling and very disturbing.

From the Columbia Free Press:

https://columbusfreepress.com/article/why-did-officer-jason-meade-kill-casey-goodson-jr?fbclid=IwAR0_XJtlfjjfAp8g28pfYQJSgDH4wyh6WcVBeNYZXw-zsEdFgqrFhOqB9o8


By Taylor Dorrell

Many questions remain surrounding how Casey Goodson was killed and the officer who killed him, Deputy Jason Meade.

As more details emerge about Meade – like his background as a pastor and his controversial Christian views on policing – activists are asking: have these views affected his judgment on the job? 

Meade’s recently resurfaced 2018 interview for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office “Connecting with the Community” YouTube series, along with a 2018 audio recording of a sermon he gave at a convention for the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists, offers insight into Meade’s contentious logic between police use of force and the teachings of Jesus.

In his sermon at the Baptist convention, he said, “I learned long ago why I’m justified in throwing the first punch. Don’t look up here like ‘Oh police brutality’.”

He continues his ramblings about use of force ending with, “Jesus was the manliest man in the history of mankind.”

Although the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was fully aware of this sermon - his fellow SWAT members and bosses were there - it apparently didn’t appear to raise any red flags with commanding officers. Likely because it’s the same message police trainers deliver to cops around the country.

The Sermon

In his 2018 recorded sermon at the Baptist convention, with other SWAT members and commanding officers in the congregation, Deputy Jason Meade delivered a message about David and Goliath, claiming David won because he threw the first punch. A strategy he adheres to when enforcing the law, he said.

(EDIT: Here is a copy of the sermon as the original appears to have been deleted from the Ohio Association of Freewill Baptists website.)

But before he gets to the main message of his sermon he preempts with an honest disclaimer: “I’m not politically correct. Do I need to throw that out? Full disclosure: if you’re looking for PC you got the wrong one.” Laughter is heard erupting from the congregation. 

Later in the sermon Meade introduces his occupation, “I work for the Sheriff’s office… I hunt people – it’s a great job, I love it. I got a bunch of my SWAT members here and even my bosses are here, I appreciate ‘em coming out, they’re good men of god. I’m glad they came out to support us today, but they’ll let you know, I worked this job 14 years, you know I ain’t never been hit clean in the face one time?”

He clarifies, “It’s a fact. It ain’t cuz I’m so good, I ain’t bad, it ain’t cuz I’m so good. You know why? I learned long ago I gotta throw the first punch.” 

Meade adds, “And I learned long ago why I’m justified in throwing the first punch. Don’t look up here like ‘oh police brutality,’ people I hit you wish you could hit, trust me. Right? Hahahaha yeah, every time I hit ‘em and I’m like that’s for you, that’s for you [referring to the audience]. It’s not that bad, I’m kidding. But listen, this is the truth.”

In his seemingly unhinged flipping of the David-and-Goliath story (the victims of police brutality are the Goliath with his logic), Meade yells with passion, his voice cracks, his subtle southern accent recalling being physically punished as a child, always getting in fights with his brother, talking about the line of “BLOOD” that Satan can’t cross.

His interpretation of David and Goliath seems to correspond with the views he expressed in the 2018 interview for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office “Connecting the Community” YouTube series that surfaced last week.

The Interview

In the interview Meade talks about his Christian faith and background as a pastor, offering a controversial take on the Bible and Jesus’ teachings. One that also matches up with many of the radical Christian police trainers who advocate for more use of force, justified, they say, through the Bible as “righteous violence,” what Meade during the interview refers to as “righteous release.”

Meade talks about his background as a corrections officer, an undercover officer in narcotics, his deployment and his church. He explains that his church congregation’s willingness for giving to overseas missionaries so often is because “we love our freedom here in our country and we know what all it takes to be there.” Meade says that he has a “genuine concern for humanity.” He says “I wanna help somebody… if that means by arresting somebody here, I’m helping all these here, then that’s what I do.”

While the video has been shared on local media sites, his thoughts on use of force were glazed over by their reporters. When given the floor to talk of his philosophy on mixing Christianity with policing, he changed tone. Meade defensively claims that the “Bible actually compliments law enforcement.”

He compares law enforcement to Jesus, saying that Jesus was the best servant in history, “what are we [law enforcement]? Servants.”

Meade claims that law enforcement’s use of force is justified in the Bible as “righteous release,” a term not mentioned in the Bible (or anywhere else for that matter): 

“There is times for righteous release. That’s what I call when we have a use of force… We don’t go around looking for it, because we don’t have to. Plenty of people out there will give you that opportunity. So we don’t have to be bullies going looking for it. That’s why I say it’s a righteous release. There is release in our job that righteously we can actually have a use of force.”

It’s important to mention that Meade was on a failed search for a suspect when he claims that Casey Goodson waved his gun from his car and then Meade pursued him

He goes on to reject the claim that Jesus’ teachings of turning the other cheek were referring to physically being slapped, saying that the Bible is often taken out of context.

“And I’ve had people who say ‘how can you hurt someone, Jesus said turn the other cheek’ and I say read your Bible. He ain’t talking about physically getting slapped in the side of the face.”

Meade attempts to clarify, “when He’s saying that it’s in offense to His name. Hold on, am I suffering from crime and criminals in the name of Jesus? No, this isn’t His namesake so that’s why we take the Bible out of context and we take service out of context. Like you can’t be a man and be a Christian? Jesus was the manliest man in the history of mankind.”

Meade’s Biblical ramblings and his thoughts on Jesus, who, it’s worth noting, was arrested and executed by the Roman state, might raise eyebrows. However, this is the same message delivered at some Columbus police gatherings and by many of the police trainers making their rounds across the country, mixing Bible verses with justifications of use of force and killing. 

Police Trainers

In her recent book Walking the Thin Black Line: Confronting Racism in the Columbus Division of Police, Columbus Police Lieutenant Melissa McFadden writes: “Some police officers believe that we are called by God to help people in our community at their most difficult times. Some wear their uniforms feeling that God ordains police officers to be the authority to enforce His will. Therefore, they believe, if a citizen resists their authority, they are resisting the authority of God and will encounter His wrath. Several scriptures are read at police ceremonies and hang on the walls at various officers’ workstations that reinforce this belief.”

Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, who travels the country teaching seminars on killing for police departments or spectators willing to pay $90, preaches that “We fight violence. What do we fight it with? Superior violence. Righteous violence.”

Grossman says, similar to Meade, that there’s no need to go out looking for the “gangbangers” and bad guys, all they need is to be ready.

“Are you prepared to kill somebody? If you cannot answer that question, you should not be carrying a gun.” Grossman often quotes Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything… a time to kill and a time to heal…” 

Grossman’s name became more relevant after the death of Philando Castile when it was discovered that Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Castile, attended Grossman’s class called “The Bulletproof Warrior.” 

Grossman encourages officers to find an overpass overlooking their city, lean forward and, like a superhero, “let your cape blow in the wind.” His and Meade’s philosophy, similar to Dostoevsky’s Raskalnikov’s belief that certain people are endowed with a different set of morals that allow for violence to be divinely warranted: “righteous violence” or “righteous release.”

To put Meade’s and others biblical justifications of state violence and killing into the context of the killing of Casey Goodson, one wonders if these kinds of claims should’ve been a red flag for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and whether or not officers should be allowed to attend classes by people like Grossman who’s hosted several classes around Columbus. 

In Meade’s sermon at the Baptist convention he lays out three prerequisites that justify throwing the first punch: Proclamation, posturing and if they have a history of violence.

The current evidence that puts Casey Goodson in a position of entering his home with sandwiches in hand and keys in the door would appear to fail each of the first two and Casey’s lack of a criminal record would cancel the third.

If it’s found that Casey indeed only had sandwiches in hand and it was only Meade with a gun and bulletproof vest, the question could be asked: which of the two would assume the role of the one in a “coat of scale armor of bronze” with a spear’s iron point weighing “six hundred shekels” (Goliath) and which would be the one with no armor, initially carrying “roasted grain and... ten loaves of bread” for his family (David)?

12 December 2020

Ouch. Mallory's ego will be butt hurt.




Someone emailed me about this. Ryan Mallory was on the KOBI-5 Facebook page and doing his usual lying and ranting and raving. Mallory has blocked me so I wasn't aware of this. I don't know how long this will be up so I asked for a screenshot. Uh huh. They nailed it on the head.

Robert Slayton is a Talent city employee. I'll be calling the city about this.

11 December 2020

Ex-Saltshaker: "It's a sick, twisted, hateful cult'


Former member describes his time with RV Saltshakers as 'Hellish'



Gabriel Macias was 15 years old when he joined the hate group RV Saltshakers. Years later, Macias regrets his time with the group.


By Brad Smith


JACKSON CO., Ore – Gabriel Macias has regrets about his time with the Southern Oregon hate group, the RV Saltshakers – and he hopes that others will avoid the mistakes he made.

“Don’t join them. Stay the hell away from them, that’s my advice,” he said. “Just stay away from them.”

Macias is a native Oregonian, growing up in Medford and the surrounding area. His father was a “habitual criminal” and Macias was a foster child for a number of years. He’d spent a long time with a foster family who were very conservative Christians. That upbringing left an impact on him and by the time he started living with his grandmother, he was “very religious.”

However, Macias said the absence of a father figure or any strong support system bothered him.

“I guess, in a way, that’s how I fell in with the Saltshakers,” he said.

In 2015, Macias saw the Saltshakers protesting and he decided to check it out.

“It was in the fall. That’s when it happened,” he said. “I was at the Ashland High School and one day, right across the street, I saw these people – they had signs, megaphones, they were chanting. I was curious, very curious. So, I went over to talk to them.”

That’s when Macias first met Jon Clement, the Saltshakers’ leader, and Mason Goodknight of the Community Outreach Evangelism or CORE, based out of Roseburg. Both men took an interest in him.

“They were very friendly, welcoming,” he said. “They asked me a lot questions, they started talking to me about God, Jesus, things like that. They seemed like they wanted to be my friends.”

And, Macias said, that is part of the trap.

“Many in the Saltshakers, especially Clement and senior members, are predatory,” he said. “I mean, they find your weaknesses and target them, that’s how they get your guard down and get you to join. They knew I didn’t have a strong support system, they knew my father wasn’t a part of my life. Clement and Goodknight, along with the others, acted like they were more than friends, like surrogate family members.”

Macias said he wasn’t the only one targeted that way.

“There were other kids they did the same thing too,” he said. “And adults who were targeted because they didn’t have much of family themselves. They were lonely and felt a need to be wanted, liked. Saltshakers filled that void for them.”

Clement, Goodknight and others in the Saltshakers/CORE group were “aggressive,” using megaphones to scream at people and provoking others to argue. Macias watched as women walked up to a Planned Parenthood clinic and “were swarmed by Saltshakers who yelled and screamed at them.” Saltshakers would also follow women down the street, waving signs and picture of aborted fetuses in their face.

“It was all very intense and very intrusive,” he said. “Looking back at it now, it was wrong and sickening. How can you treat people like that?”

Clement has been vocal about Saltshaker tactics over the years. In interviews, he admitted that intimidation was a “valuable tool.”

“It’s how we get our message across and let others know that we’ll never back down,” he said.

To the Saltshakers, what they perceive as “God’s law” overrules actual laws.

“Rules and regulations mean nothing to them,” Macias said. “They’ll push everything to the limit, just enough to get their message across. Now, when I was with them, they never talked about doing anything violent. It was just getting in people’s faces, yelling, screaming, harassing. Things like that.”

What bothered Macias the most was how Saltshakers “weaponized their kids.”

“Parents would bring their kids to these protests and it was very disturbing,” he said. “Kids would be holding these signs and pictures, saying things they didn’t understand – it was wrong. It bordered on child abuse; I feel. And, then they exposed other kids to those awful pictures and they felt it was the right thing to do.

“It was sickening.”

Macias said he went to an SOU Raiders game and passed out religious tracts. When the Saltshakers went to the 2016 Boatnik event in Grants Pass, he was there.

“I was like the dutiful soldier,” he said. “I went along and did my duty and received the praise and attention I felt I needed. Again, that void needed to be filled and the Saltshakers did just that.”

Meantime, Macias was also dealing with another secret: Being a closeted gay teen.

“Looking back at it, that was a big thing,” he said. “I was living this double life and we know how that will eventually tear people apart. I thought I could fill this void by being with the Saltshakers and it didn’t last long. I wasn’t being myself, I was not a nice person. I lashed out at my grandmother and others close to me. I didn’t like who I was.”

A year after being with the Saltshakers, Macias said he knew things had to change.

“It was time to come out, to come clean with myself and everyone else,” he said. “I had to do it before I imploded. So, I posted everything on Facebook. It felt good but there was a backlash from the Saltshakers.”

Some Saltshakers told Macias that he needed to repent or he would “burn in hell.”

“People I thought who were my friends said that I was a horrible sinner and some even called me ‘Judas,’” he said. “See, in their view, Jesus is all about hellfire, damnation and brimstone. A vengeful wrath of judgment and it just went against everything I believed in. There’s no love or mercy. It’s all about hellfire and damnation.”

Macias eventually relocated to Eugene and “basically started over.” He then ended up in southern California and found love. Now, he and his husband have been getting through 2020 like everyone else – and are happy, despite the social upheavals of a pandemic and a volatile election year.

“We visited family in Oregon earlier this year,” he said. “All in all, life’s good. We’re getting ready for the holidays and hoping for a better 2021. I think everyone is.”

Macias heard of people taking a stand against the Saltshakers and their allies. He decided it was time to speak out.

“What they’re doing is horrible and disgusting,” he said. “It did things to me and it’s traumatized me. I’m working it out and I hope other people will hear my story, leave the group and get help. Toxic hate and bigotry are the Saltshakers’ message. It has nothing to do with love. It has nothing to with Jesus or what he taught us. The Saltshakers aren’t Christians. They’re about hate. That’s what people need to know. But I also know that you can walk away, forgive yourself and put that hate behind you. That’s what I did. Others can do it as well.”


06 December 2020

Local hate group crawls out of the cyberspace cesspool



 The local hate group RV Saltshakers ended their social media exile last month. The SS Facebook page went dark in the wake of hatemongering leader Jon Clement and failed street preacher Ryan Clark were arrested after recklessly firing shotguns from a boat last October. Grants Pass cops nicked the pair after people in nearby parks claimed birdshot flew over their heads.

As reported, Clark took a plea deal and will serve ten days in custody, either jail or house arrest. He also got  18 months unsupervised probation and had to surrender his shotgun. Clement is in court on Dec. 14.

Clark and convicted child abuser Trevor Emptage will, no doubt, continue to harass innocent people and spread the Saltshakers' message of hate.

It's a shame that Anonymous or other hacktivists haven't taken action.

Yet.


Hate group member in court, pleads no contest on weapons charge


 
Ryan Clark, member of the hate group RV Salt Shakers, was in court last week on weapons charges.

By Brad Smith

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Ryan Clark, a supposed minister and member of the hate group known as the RV Salt Shakers, pleaded no contest to weapons charges last week.

According to records, Clark, 43, appeared in court on Dec. 2. and made his plea on the charges of unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to ten days in custody – which could be served either at home or in jail – and placed on 18 months unsupervised probation. He also had to surrender his shotgun. In a plea agreement, additional charges of reckless endangerment were dismissed.

Clark and Jon Clement, 61, were arrested on Oct. 26 by Grants Pass police after the pair were allegedly shooting at birds from a pontoon boat drifting down the Rogue River. According to press releases, the two men fired shotguns as their boat drifted near both Tussing and Reinhart Volunteer Parks. Some witnesses reported they heard pellets pass overhead.

Clement and Clark were taken into custody sometime after 5 p.m. and were booked into the Josephine County Jail. Both were charged with unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Clement is the leader of RV Salt Shakers, a hate group that’s operated throughout southern Oregon for the last few years. Clark is allegedly a member as well. The Salt Shakers have been known to picket area Planned Parenthood clinics and harass patients and others using PP services. The Shakers have also been a nuisance at many local events, ranging from Pear Blossom to Ashland’s holiday parade. A number of groups have taken measures to bar the Salt Shakers from their events. They have also targeted the LGBTQ and immigrant communities.

Clement’s group has been accused of using fear tactics and even intimidation.

“(Fear tactics) are sometimes necessary to further our message,” he said in 2019. “If it helps our cause, we’ll do it.”

Word of Clement and Clark’s arrests spread like wildfire through social media and it wasn’t long before the group’s page was hit by trolling.

Clement is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 14.

Convicted child abuser Trevor Emptage is a member of the hate group as well. It’s still not known if a criminal record is a prerequisite for RV Salt Shaker membership.

As of press time, the RV Salt Shakers page, one of them, is up on social media. For how long is not known.


03 December 2020

Vigil held for Ellison, FBI now involved


 By Brad Smith

MEDFORD, Ore. – Over 200 people gathered at the Jackson County Courthouse for a Wednesday vigil for Aidan Ellison, a young Black man who was shot in Ashland on Nov. 23.

Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity (SOEquity) the Rogue Action Center and other local racial/social groups helped put the vigil together. Kayla Wade, SOEquity’s founder, was among the speakers.

“We’re here because a white man thought that a young Black kid just expressing himself and listening to music and decompressing was unacceptable and needed to be dealt with,” she said. “We’re here because every person of color, every Black person in this community, has experienced something like that: Having a white person decide that how we’re living our lives is unacceptable and that we need to tone it down or need to be silenced. If we want to live in a world where we can exist with dignity, something has to change.”

As previously reported, on Nov. 23, Keegan allegedly shot and killed Ellison. The victim 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. 

Court records added a few details to the incident. Keegan was reportedly awakened by loud music this happened at around 4 a.m. He told police that he got dressed, put the gun in his jacket pocket, and went to the front desk. An employee then went out to the parking lot and spoke with Ellison. As they were talked, Keegan went outside and then confronted the young man. That is how the argument started.

Keegan claimed that Ellison hit him in the face a number of times. However, the autopsy indicated that Ellison’s hands lacked bruising or marks consistent with a physical assault. And Keegan’s face wasn’t bruised or marked.

Keegan is still being held at the Jackson County and no bail has been set. His next court date is Feb. 22, 2021.

Ellison’s death sparked outrage throughout the Southern Oregon area and ire at some local media outlets. CBS affiliate KTVL 10 went into detail about Keegan’s alleged plight as someone displaced by September’s Almeda Fire while very little was said about the victim. Meantime, Ellison’s family, living in Klamath Falls, have been targeted by harassment from local white supremacists and even some law enforcement, Clarence Carr claimed.

“It’s been very hard for them and they’re getting by,” he said. “It’s a day by day thing. No one should have to go through this shit.”

A number of people from the BIPOC community spoke during the vigil, sharing their experiences with racism here in the Rogue Valley. As Carr noted, many came here hoping they could avoid it.

“But no matter what, it’s here and we need to do something about it.”

As some local media outlets published articles about the vigil on social media, racism did rear its ugly head from time to time. It got so bad that in one case, KTVL banned “Elijah Rebel Kruis” for promoting hate speech, they said. Kruis’ Facebook page is adorned with Confederate flags and far-right posts. Others, like William Meehan, Jr. and  Ronald King, blamed Ellison for playing “crap rap music” too loud and said the victim was being “disrespectful.” In short, they victim shamed.

It was reported that Keegan didn’t have a criminal record but a restraining order was filed by his ex-wife a number of years ago. She also alleged that both she and her son – whom Keegan had custody of – were victims of his emotional and physical abuse.

On Thursday, Chief Tighe O’Meara, Ashland Police Dept., issued the following press release:

 

In reference to the murder of Aidan Ellison, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is working with the Ashland Police Department to assess whether there are any potential violations of federal laws.

While, at this time, this has not been substantiated, under state or federal law, to have been a bias crime, it is important to examine all aspects of this case and determine whether a bias crime has been committed.

Anyone with information pertinent to this case is encouraged to contact the Ashland Police Department.

The Ashland Police Department is grateful for the FBI’s engagement on this case.

An anonymous source, a former law enforcement officer, said they were glad to see the FBI aiding with the investigation.

“According to Oregon law, a hate crime happens when somebody intentionally uses offensive physical contact, threatens physical injury or threatens to cause damage to the property of another person because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin,” they said. “Did that happen? Not that we know of, so far. We do have at least one witness and maybe some security camera footage – but if there is video footage, how good is the audio? What did the witness hear or see that would indicate this was racially motivated? Those factors have to be taken into consideration. As to how long it will take – it’s hard to say. They have a lot of work ahead of them.”

01 December 2020

UPDATE: Autopsy shuts down Keegan's self defense claims


Accused murderer Robert Keegan claims self-defense but evidence says otherwise. Photo courtesy of the Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office.

By Brad Smith

ASHLAND, Ore. – Accused murderer Robert Paul Keegan claimed that a 19-year-old Black man punched him in the face and that he acted in self-defense by shooting him.

According to an unsealed probable cause affidavit, Keegan told Ashland police officers after Aidan Ellison supposedly hit him, he took a few steps back, drew his 9mm semiauto pistol then “racked a round and shot (Ellison) in the chest.”

However, the medical examiner’s findings dispute Keegan’s claim.

Court records show that the autopsy found the victim had no injuries on his hands consistent with physical assault – and Keegan himself lacked visible signs of being punched in the face.

As previously reported, on Nov. 23, Keegan allegedly shot and killed Ellison. The victim 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. 

Court records added a few details to the incident. Keegan was reportedly awakened by loud music this happened at around 4 a.m. He told police that he got dressed, put the gun in his jacket pocket, and went to the front desk. An employee then went out to the parking lot and spoke with Ellison. As they were talked, Keegan went outside and then confronted the young man. That is how the argument started.

Thirty minutes later, Ellison was dead.

Keegan appeared in court last Friday and pleaded not guilty to the four charges. As of press time, he’s still lodged at the Jackson County Jail and no bond has been posted. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2021.

 Local media outlets reported that Keegan didn’t have a criminal record – however, in 2012, his then-wife Amy Jo Hoppins filed a restraining order against him when they lived in Coos County. Hoppins claimed that Keegan was both physically and emotionally abusive to her and their son. Fearing for her safety, Hoppins has gone into hiding and is attempting to regain custody of her son. She told The Rogue Free Press that she was still receiving threats from Keegan over the past year.

 A former law enforcement officer said they were “concerned” by Keegan’s account.

 “’Racked a round?’ That’s something you find in badly written private eye stories or other macho pulp crap novels,” they said. “It’s my opinion – my opinion, mind you – that Keegan was the aggressor here. He was looking for a confrontation. It sounds like the motel employee was doing their job and (Keegan) made things worse. Just another macho fuckup with a gun and a bad attitude.”

Local racial and social justice groups have already held vigils for Ellison and more are planned throughout the week.


 

Cancel Culture: It Happened to Me

Yes -- I was "canceled" . . . . By Brad Smith Ever since I wrote and published the article about Talent Elementary special educati...