LA Forensics: The Sandwich Shop Murders
As the jury deliberated over the course of three days, then had their verdict sealed for another three because the judge had a prior commitment, relatives of James White and Brian Berry spoke with the press. Brian's father believed the death penalty would be appropriate, as did James's mother, who nevertheless said it would be only a "hollow victory." Both parents expressed how difficult it was to wait for the verdict.
On May 3, the jury's decision was announced: Robinson was guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree robbery, with special circumstances of multiple murder and robbery-murder. He was thus eligible for the death penalty. This jury would now go back and deliberate about the appropriate punishment.
Hill said that he believed the jury had given the evidence due consideration but he found it difficult that anyone would believe his client had committed the slayings. "I have to reconcile the James Robinson that I have gotten to know...is the James Robinson the jury has found guilty."
Barshop, on the other hand, thought Robinson was a very good liar who could cry on cue. "He always had an explanation for everything." While he was pleased with the verdict, he knew better than to celebrate too soon. Juries were never predictable.