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News Maryland Anne Arundel County Pasadena

Man on trial for father's 2012 killing in Pasadena

Angry at a father who had been nagging him about getting a job, Darius Rodmond Keenan Jr. allegedly killed the Pasadena resident with a single gunshot to the head in 2012, prosecutors claimed Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Keenan is on trial for first-degree murder and gun charges related to the death of his father, Darius "Rodney" Keenan Sr., a correctional officer six months away from retirement.

Prosecutors said the father and son had been estranged for years, with the son raised in South Carolina by his mother. But Keenan Jr., then 26, showed up at his father's house in Pasadena in 2012 and moved in, Assistant State's Attorney Jason Miller told jurors Wednesday.

Keenan Sr.'s brother, Royce Keenan, testified he was at the home on the night of Aug. 12, 2012 and saw the father and son arguing. Royce Keenan said he tried to smooth things over by arranging to pick Keenan Jr. up the next morning for a painting job so he could earn a little money.

But Royce Keenan said when showed up the next day, his nephew was gone and his brother was dead in his bed. His brother's car, phone and wallet were missing, he said.

Police broadcast a lookout for the car, and Keenan Jr. was pulled over in the car by the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Police later found the father's cell phone and debit card in the car, as well as a .38-caliber revolver, which matched several characteristics of the bullet used in the murder, Miller said.

Defense attorney Heather Tierney countered in her opening statement that someone else may have killed Keenan Sr. She said a neighbor heard a pop and saw a flash of light coming from the Keenan home — but from the opposite side of the home from where the father was found, indicating his body was moved.

Tierney offered an alibi for Keenan Jr., saying he was walking to a liquor store with a friend when the neighbor heard the shot.

"He simply wasn't there … The weight of the evidence points to someone else as the murderer," she said. Tierney described Keenan Jr.'s departure as that of a scared young man who attempted to retreat to his mother's home.

The trial is expected to last into next week.

pwood@baltsun.com

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