Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

LA Forensics: The Sandwich Shop Murders

The Totality of Evidence

Detective Moseley testified that they had compiled a murder book of 1,200 pages on the incident. Hill attempted to get her to say that another witness, in support of Robinson's account, had described a gray Mustang in the area at the time, but she claimed to have no recollection of such a person. Hill offered no proof that such a witness even existed.

SID's latent print examiner testified to the findings from the store and the plastic bag. He described the fuming method of preserving fingerprints on the plastic bag, and then showed the jury how Robinson had grabbed the bag twice: the two clear prints were slightly overlapping. Thus, when he said he had picked up the bag only once before dropping it again in the alley, he was clearly lying.

During the two-week trial, Robinson's attorney, Bruce Hill, adopted several strategies. He put Robinson's mother on the stand, as well as a dozen other people who knew him from his church. They all testified that he was a gentle, respectful person who was taking classes to improve himself, and not a killer. Hill also had Robinson, then 24, testify, and he had quite a story to tell. He might have been caught in a lie but he still knew how to twist the truth. And he was desperate. He knew the DA wanted the death penalty.

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