Ukiah Doctor Arrested for Killing His Wife in 2010
Used with permission from the Anderson Valley Advertiser:
A Mendocino County criminal grand jury has indicted Dr. Peter Keegan for the murder of his wife, Susan Keegan.
The startling news was revealed Thursday afternoon with the posting of Friday’s court calendar showing that Keegan [was going to be] arraigned at 9am Friday morning in Department B before Judge Ann Moorman.
Mrs. Keegan was found dead in the couple’s South Ukiah home on November 10, 2010. Peter Keegan, a long-time Ukiah general practitioner whose patients were a virtual Who’s Who of liberal Ukiah, said his wife of thirty years, and the mother of the couple’s two sons, had fallen in the bathroom adjoining her bedroom and struck her head with sufficient force to kill herself. Keegan told police his wife had been under the combined influence of alcohol and prescription drugs.
Family and friends of Mrs. Keegan were immediately suspicious.
DA David Eyster, elected soon after Mrs. Keegan’s improbable death, immediately began a thorough re-investigation of the case. The results of that investigation were presented to a specially convened grand jury just this week by prosecutor Tim Stoen; the grand jury agreed that Dr. Keegan should be indicted for murder.
This case will reverberate throughout Mendocino County and beyond with its startlingly unique cast of characters, beginning with the Harvard-educated Keegan prosecuted by the former consiglieri for the People’s Temple, Tim Stoen. Defending Keegan is Sonoma County’s go-to criminal defense attorney, the formidable Chris Andrian.
Peter Keegan is said to be terminally ill with cancer while prosecutor Stoen, 80, has recently undergone brain surgery.
Keegan, something of a social and professional pariah since the death of his wife, has functioned as a part-time doctor with the Indian Health Clinic in Covelo.
Prominent Ukiah attorney, Norm Rosen, who’d functioned as the Keegans’ marriage counselor, asked for his files on his work with the Keegans, claimed attorney-client confidentiality exempted him from testifying to Peter Keegan’s explosive temper. A search warrant of Rosen’s office revealed that Rosen was not the couple’s attorney but merely a counselor.
The DA’s office refused comment Thursday afternoon on the Keegan matter….
The arraignment for Dr. Peter Richard Keegan went very swiftly…at 9:00 am, all parties having arrived early, except the defendant, who came in last wearing a grey suit and leaning on a walking stick, in the company of three younger men and a small boy, possibly family members.
Judge Ann Moorman came out and called Dr. Keegan’s case first… Judge Moorman noted that the Grand Jury had returned an indictment for one count of murder and prosecutor Timothy Stoen submitted a copy of the indictment, charging the defendant with murder, 187 of the Penal Code — the judge had copies made telling Stoen he should have made three endorsed copies and while he apologized Moorman noted that Judge Behnke had set bail on Wednesday at $300,000
…[The] charge was second degree murder… Moorman told him to take it to the office and get a receipt for it against the day it would be returned. She then gave Mr. Andrian a copy of the indictment, which he formally acknowledged, and asked that the matter be put over for 60 days for entry of plea.
The date of Friday, October 20th at 9:00 AM was decided on. Mr. Stoen gave Mr. Andrian a flash-drive containing the discovery and JudgeMoorman noted that the witness list had been sealed. Andrian asked that it be unsealed for the attorneys, only and this was agreed to.
Dr. Keegan was ordered to return on October 20th.