A Fairbanks man has been indicted on a murder-for-hire charge.
Roger Keeling, 54, was indicted earlier this week on the federal murder-for-hire charge after he arranged to have a former girlfriend killed by another inmate he was in jail with, according to documents filed Friday in federal court. Keeling was indicted in Fairbanks by a federal grand jury on Tuesday.
A month earlier, Keeling had been indicted by another federal grand jury for stalking the same woman he is now charged with attempting to have killed. The woman and Keeling dated for three years before the relationship ended, and soon after he began stalking her in earnest, according to court documents.
According to a bail memorandum for the murder-for-hire indictment, while Keeling was serving a sentence at Fairbanks Correctional Center related to harassing the woman, he talked about her incessantly to his cell mate.
"In conversations with the inmate, Keeling expressed a great deal of anger toward Victim 1 and repeatedly said he wanted her dead," the document reads. "The other inmate, in an effort to get Keeling to stop talking about it, told Keeling that he 'knew a guy' who could take care of Victim 1. Keeling responded enthusiastically."
According to court papers, Keeling provided his cell mate with details about the intended victim's schedule and promised him a “finders fee” of about $1,500.
When Keeling was released on bail, he transferred part of the finders fee to the other inmate’s mother using an internet banking application, according to the court filing.
"Keeling also provided specific instructions for the best time and manner for completing the hit," the court document reads. "During a subsequent search at Keeling’s house, law enforcement found documents referencing payments to the other inmate for 'the job' they had talked about in jail and a hand-drawn floor plan of Victim 1’s house. Thankfully, Keeling’s fellow inmate promptly brought the matter to the attention of law enforcement."
Keeling remained in the Fairbanks Correctional Center on Friday, awaiting the next hearing in his trial.
Keeling has a long history of harassment, according to court documents. In October 2020, prosecutors charged Keeling with fourth-degree assault for choking his girlfriend and threatening to burn her house down. Keeling fled the residence and pleaded to the charge. In the months that followed, Keeling was arrested and released numerous times, mostly for violating domestic violence protective orders. Keeling also harassed his former girlfriend by email, sending her multiple messages from people supposedly speaking on his behalf.
On Nov. 11, the woman reported her tires had been slashed while she was inside The Alaska Club. The Fairbanks Police Department investigated the matter and ultimately arrested Keeling for fifth degree criminal mischief, violating a domestic violence protective order, and two counts of violating conditions of release. Police say sometime during the stalking, Keeling began practicing black magic in his pursuit of his former girlfriend, placing notes with “spells” on them on trails where she would run and compiling notebooks full of curses in them.
According to court filings, the woman was so scared she left Interior Alaska for a month and traveled to a community hundreds of miles away from Fairbanks. She also had her vehicle swept for GPS devices and got rid of her cell phone, replacing it with a new one.
If convicted, Keeling could face up to 10 years in prison for his attempt to arrange a murder for hire, in addition to any sentence he may face for previously filed charges.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Alaska State Troopers conducted the investigation.
Contact staff writer Will Morris at 459-7582.