Innocent Black Man To Be Freed After Nearly 20 Years Behind Bars

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After almost 20 years, an innocent man is set to return to his family as the murder charges against him have been dropped following a re-evaluation of evidence.

Finally, after spending nearly two decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit, a Missouri man is set to be freed.

David Robinson’s “living nightmare” will soon be over after going to prison back in 2001 for the murder of a 36-year-old mother named Sheila Box, who was found dead of a single gunshot wound in her car in 2000.

Although Robinson had a history of drug crimes, there was virtually nothing connecting him to Box’s murder other than the word of a so-called eyewitness who happened to be a paid police informant named Albert Baker.

Later, an inmate also claimed Robinson had confessed to him while they were sharing a cell, but as it turns out, Robinson had never shared a cell with the man.

“He was never in the same cell as David Robinson, and the prosecution put him on the stand even though they knew he had never shared the same cell,” said Robinson’s attorney, Charlie Weiss.

Despite the faulty evidence, Robinson was sentenced to life without parole in the killing.

“That bothered me more than anything, to be wrongfully accused of killing a woman,” Robinson said of his conviction.

Approximately three years after the trial, a man named Romanze Mosby confessed to killing Box in a drug deal gone bad.

“I told her to throw the money, throw the money out, and I’m gonna throw her the dope,” Mosby confessed on a recording made by a defense investigator, according to The Root.

He opened fire upon noticing Box had a gun of her own.

“And that’s when I just shot he, because I’d seen a little flash. I was walking up to it, and she just raised her arm, and that’s when I shot her,” Mosby recounted.

Mosby committed suicide in 2009, and the alleged witness, Baker, admitted at some point that he gave false testimony after receiving $2,500 in cash and expenses.

Despite all of this, Robinson remained behind bars for years to come, all of his appeals continuously denied.

As of Monday, Robinson’s luck has turned around as the Missouri Attorney General’s office has recommended that he be set free.

Local CBS affiliate KFVS12 reports that the charges against him have been dismissed, and he will officially be released from the custody of the Jefferson City Correctional Center on May 31. The decision was made after evidence in the case was re-evaluated for a future retrial.

His family is already excited for his return and planning to celebrate with him once he’s released.

"We’re going to barbecue, we’re going to cook fish all the food that he likes," said Robinson’s brother, Reggie Robinson. "He's already called people and has people on standby to make pies and cakes. He's ready to enjoy it."

While his upcoming release is certainly worth the celebration, it is still incredibly disheartening that he had to endure so many years in prison for nothing.

Nearly two decades of life and freedom was stolen from him, and he can never get it back. This is a fate that black men face all too often. Although their eventual exoneration may be better late than never, criminal justice reform that does more to prevent these legal mishaps would be preferable. 

Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Pixabay, AlexVan

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