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.
Signee’s case faces probe
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas signee JoJo Robinson’s armed robbery case is scheduled for a pre-file conference with the Miami-Dade prosecutors office next week, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office said Friday.
Ed Griffith, public information officer for the Miami-Dade office of the state attorney, said assistant state attorney Denise Georges called for the conference.
“Upon review of the arrest affidavit, the prosecutor [Georges] will schedule her pre-file conferences with the pertinent law enforcement officers and victims some time next week,” Griffith said in a written statement. “Once the prosecutor completes her pre-file conferences, she will have a better understanding of the case and identify any further investigative work that needs to be done on the matter.”
Griffth said a decision to pursue charges in the case will be made for the arraignment, which is scheduled for May 22.
Robinson, a wide receiver who was arrested Tuesday in Miami with high school teammate Lakeith Stafford, was released on his own recognizance Thursday morning by a bond court judge.
“The bond court judge decided to release the defendant on his own recognizance based on the testimony and lack of priors,” Georges said in a statement. “There were no conditions placed on the defendant’s release by the judge.”
Joseph Robinson, the player’s father, said Friday afternoon through a text message that he and his son were on a plane headed for Northwest Arkansas to attend the Razorbacks’ spring football game today at Razorback Stadium.
Joseph Robinson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Thursday that he believes the charge will be dropped against his son based on a lack of evidence.
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema has not responded to a request by the Democrat-Gazette to comment on Robinson’s case. Larry Handfield, the attorney representing Robinson, did not return phone messages Thursday or Friday.
According to Robinson’s arrest report, the 18-year-old was riding in the back seat of a vehicle driven by Stafford on Tuesday just before 6 p.m. Eastern time when a third person in the vehicle got out and pointed a firearm at a pedestrian before taking his gold bracelet and re-entering the vehicle, which left the scene.
Stafford, 18, who has been charged with three counts of armed robbery with a firearm, was allegedly involved in two other robberies before the incident involving Robinson.
The second robbery occurred just after midnight on April 22. Stafford was identified as the driver of a gold-colored vehicle that pulled up beside a pedestrian. At that point, an unnamed co-defendant in the vehicle pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at a victim and demanded a backpack, wristwatch and money and took the items along with $45 in cash before leaving the scene, according to the report.
According to Stafford’s arrest report, the first robbery occurred April 18 with a co-defendant identified by police as Keyto Lee, who police say got out of a mini-van and pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at a pedestrian and said, “Give me your phone and everything else with you or I’ll kill you.”
The victim complied with the request and was pistol-whipped on the head by Lee, according to the report. Police say Stafford admitted to being the driver in that incident.
Sports, Pages 21 on 04/26/2014