Monday, March 15, 2010
Putnam Man Freed After 15 Years In Prison
A Putnam County man is starting this week as a free man for the first time in more than 14 years. 49-year-old David Robinson Jr. had been convicted in 1996 on first degree murder charges in the shooting death of Sparta resident Gerald Irwin. But an appeals court recently ruled that Robinson's constitutional rights were violated in his first trial, and they ordered that a new trial be held. Instead, local prosecutors worked out a deal in which Robinson pleaded guilty to second degree murder, rather than first degree murder, in return for a sentence of time served. Authorities say the issue is that defense attorneys were never told during his first trial that the prosecution's star witness had also worked as a police informant.