Fairbanks Resident Sentenced

A Fairbanks man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for stalking and attempting to arrange a murder for hire.

According to court documents and evidence presented at his sentencing, 55 year old Roger Keeling devised and solicited a murder for hire plot targeting his former girlfriend while he was in custody on stalking charges. He was indicted in January and found guilty by a federal jury in August.

At sentencing, the United States underscored the physical, emotional and mental abuse suffered by Keeling’s former girlfriend. In both her testimony and her victim impact statement, she described the terrifying and traumatic ordeal. As she became increasingly frightened by Keeling’s actions and mental state, she left him. He tried winning her back but when that didn’t work, his anger began to consume him as he stalked her and found someone to murder her.

In October 2020 Keeling placed his hands around his girlfriend’s neck, told her he should rip her heart out and threatened to burn her house down. Keeling pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in state court. The victim applied for and was granted a Domestic Violence Protective Order and it was served on 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.

Keeling was arrested for stalking the victim in December 2020. While in custody, Keeling told his cellmate he wanted to find someone to harm his girlfriend. During the next few days, Keeling agreed to pay his cellmate $1,500 to arrange for a hitman to kill her, and after being released by a state court judge, 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.