Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Hogs signee Robinson arrested in Miami
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas wide receiver signee JoJo Robinson was arrested in Miami on Tuesday and charged with armed robbery with a firearm or other deadly weapon before being released on his own recognizance following a bond hearing Thursday.
Robinson’s father, Joseph, said his son was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It looks like the state is going to drop everything against him,” Joseph Robinson said Thursday in a telephone interview after attending his son’s bond hearing.
“They don’t have any evidence on him. He wasn’t released on bond. He didn’t have a bond.”
Robinson, who turned 18 on Feb. 22, faces a hearing on the felony charge May 22 before Judge William Thomas, according to court records in the Miami-Dade Clerk of Court’s office.
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema did not respond to a request for comment on Robinson.
According to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s arrest report, Robinson was riding late Tuesday afternoon in the back seat of a vehicle driven by Lakeith Stafford, a teammate of Robinson’s at Miami Northwestern High School, as well as an unnamed co-defendant.
The vehicle stopped, and the unnamed co-defendant got out of the front passenger seat and approached a man with a firearm, demanding the victim’s gold bracelet, the report said. The co-defendant forcibly removed the bracelet and re-entered the vehicle, which left the area, the report stated. The Miami-Dade Tactical Narcotics Units later spotted the vehicle at 9105 NW 25th St. with Robinson and Stafford still inside, according to the report.
The unnamed defendant was still at large at the time Robinson’s arrest report was prepared. Stafford was charged with three counts of armed robbery with a firearm or deadly weapon, according to the Miami-Dade Corrections Web site, and has not been given bond.
The report said Robinson was read his Miranda rights and gave a written statement saying they were “just playing around.” Robinson was then taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Joseph Robinson said the judge at his son’s bond hearing indicated the charges would be dropped.
“That was just done this morning, so I don’t know how long the process will take,” Joseph Robinson said.
Robinson told WholeHogSports.com that his son “gave a statement and said he was a student-athlete trying to go to college. He didn’t want anyone to get hurt and wasn’t intent on hurting anyone.”
Messages left for the man the elder Robinson identified as the family’s attorney, Larry R. Handfield, were not returned.
Robinson said he and his son were boarding a plane at 5:45 a.m. today bound for Northwest Arkansas so they could watch Arkansas’ Red-White spring game Saturday.
Robinson, a 6-0, 185-pound receiver, signed with Arkansas after originally committing to Florida State. He caught 70 passes for 760 yards and 4 touchdowns last season.
The elder Robinson said his son accepted a ride with someone without knowing what had been going on in the vehicle.
“It was a case of not knowing what was going on,” he said. “It was a lesson learned. I’m glad that he got the lesson, because it’s better to get it now than later.
“The lesson is take the bus the next time.”
Sports, Pages 19 on 04/25/2014