Fairbanks man convicted in murder-for-hire plot

(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Aug. 14, 2021 at 3:37 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A federal jury Friday convicted a Fairbanks man in a stalking and a murder-for-hire plot.

55-year-old Roger Keeling was targeting his ex-girlfriend, devising a murder-for-hire plan, while he was in jail, according to court documents.

The United States Attorney’s Office District of Alaska says in October 2020 Keeling placed his hands around his then girlfriend’s neck and threatened to rip her heart our and said he would burn her house down. Officials say he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in state court.

The victim was granted a Domestic Violence Protective Order and it was served to Keeling before his release on the assault charges.

“Over the next six weeks, Keeling was arrested – and released by the state court – for violating this DVPO multiple times in an escalating pattern that included following the victim, slashing her tires, sending dozens of threatening emails from various ‘disguised’ email accounts and planting disturbing handwritten notes along her usual running route,” the U.S Attorney’s Office wrote in a press release.

In December 2020 Keeling was arrested for stalking the victim, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office. Officials add that while Keeling behind bars created a hand-drawn picture of his ex-girlfriend’s home up in flames showing a desire to harm her. He is then said to have agreed to pay his cellmate $1,500 to kill her.

A drawing done by a man convicted in a murder for hire plot.
A drawing done by a man convicted in a murder for hire plot.(United States Attorney’s Office District of Alaska)

The U.S Attorney’s Office says after being released for the stalking arrest he made an initial payment of $500.

“During a search of Keeling’s home, Alaska State Troopers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation found numerous notes and documents confirming the existence of the plot, as well as multiple documents and drawings created by Mr. Keeling that showed his desire to see her harmed, including a hand-drawn picture of her home in flames,” the press release reads.

“Every citizen has the right to feel safe as they go about their daily life. With today’s (Friday’s) conviction, the victim will no longer live in fear always looking over her back and worried about her personal safety,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson, District of Alaska.

Keeling faces up to a five-year sentence on the stalking conviction and up to a 10-year sentence on the murder-for-hire conviction.

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