Jury Hears Closing Arguments In Robinson Trial
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Jury deliberations will continue Tuesday in the trial of the man accused in the fatal shooting of a Penn Hills police officer in 2009.
Deliberations began around 1:30 p.m. Monday and wrapped up for the day around 7 p.m. without a verdict. They will resume Tuesday morning.
Late Monday afternoon, the jurors asked to hear again the 911 audio that included the confrontation between the suspect and Danyal Morton allegedly over drug money. The prosecution played it during closing arguments as well as at trial.
Prosecutors say Ronald Robinson confessed to the 2009 killing of Officer Michael Crawshaw to his mother, as well as after he heard a taped statement from her.
“We said don’t make your mother take the stand,” Detective Terry Hediger testified Thursday. “Own up to this. Do you want to hear her statement? He said, ‘Yes, I’d like to hear that,’ so we played a portion of it. At some point he said, ‘I’ve heard enough. You can turn it off.’”
The jury will decide if Robinson allegedly committed first-degree or second-degree murder.
“There is absolutely no evidence he intended to kill Officer Crawshaw,” Veronica Brestensky said as part of the defense’s closing argument. “He didn’t lay in the shrubs and open fire. This was a happenstance occurrence. However tragic it may be, it does not rise to the level of first degree homicide.”
Prosecutor Mark Tranquilli countered the defense argument that the murders were second-degree homicides.
He played the 911 tape that recorded the argument with and actual shooting of Morton, who was also killed then night Crawshaw was, then said, “The specific intent to kill can be formed quickly. You just heard it unfold in your very ears.”
Regarding Penn Hills Officer Michael Crawshaw, Tranquilli said, “Robinson could have just dipped down the hill. He had a choice. Instead of running, he decided to fire on a marked police car.”
Watch Heather Abraham’s report Tuesday:
Then, pointing to pictures of the bullet holes in the police car, Tranquilli said, “If that car doesn’t scream out specific intent to kill, I don’t know what does.”
The jury was told to bring an overnight bag because they are being sequestered.