Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

LA Forensics: The Sandwich Shop Murders

Red Herring

Robinson had heard that the physical evidence pretty much undermined his story, but he continued to claim that the two men were already dead when he arrived at the shop on the night of the shooting. According to the trial record, as stated in CA v. Robinson, Robinson gave the following account (often tearfully):

His former roommate, Jackson, was the one who had raised the issue of robbing the sandwich shop. Allegedly, he had asked Robinson to tell him about the receipts and the exit out the back. Robinson had tried to dissuade him, but Jackson had told Robinson to come meet him that night at the store. Then Robinson could not find his gun in its usual spot. He went to see a friend, which made him late for his appointment with Jackson. As he arrived at the sandwich shop, he discovered two men lying on the floor and the cash register and safe emptied. The security bar had been removed from the back door and as he opened it, he saw a car consistent with Jackson's right down to a broken taillight drive away. Robinson picked up the discarded sandwich and dropped it again. He figured Jackson had used his gun to carry out the robbery and kill the young men, then set him up to take the heat. The following day, because of problems with Jackson and his girlfriend, Robinson had moved out.

So that's why his fingerprints were on the bag and his gun matched the spent casings. In his favor was that, initially, the lone eyewitness had been unable to identify him from a photo line-up. She also said he had not been wearing glasses, and everyone knew he could not see well without them. Why would he have risked pulling off such a crime without glasses on?

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