‘He is innocent’: Defense emerges as July 2020 Oakland homicide goes to trial

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OAKLAND — Only nine months after he was arrested and charged with murder, a 48-year-old Oakland tax preparer is going on trial, facing charges that he gunned down a man who’d been in an altercation with the defendant’s wife.

Marius Robinson was arrested last September and charged with murdering 43-year-old Robert Coleman in the July 2020 shooting. Though murder cases typically take years to go to trial, jury selection for Robinson started earlier this week, with both sides making a brief case to prospective jurors about what they think the evidence will show.

Prosecutors allege that Coleman and Robinson’s wife got into an argument when she was out running an errand, and when she returned home and told her husband about it, he became “enraged.” The defense concedes that Robinson’s car was seen driving up to and leaving the scene of the homicide, but say because of that, Oakland police focused solely on Robinson and ignored evidence that pointed to another killer.

“He is innocent,” Robinson’s attorney, deputy public defender Joseph Penrod, told prospective jurors Monday morning.

Deputy district attorney Adam McConney told jurors that after learning of the altercation, Robinson left his home, gun in hand, to go look for Coleman. His wife joined in the search, armed with a hammer, he said.

“They went to avenge the disrespect,” McConney said, adding that Robinson ultimately “gunned (Coleman) down” in broad daylight. After being shot, the attorney said, Coleman staggered a few steps, then “collapsed onto the pavement, and bled to death.”

Penrod said there was, in fact, evidence that Coleman “assaulted or harassed” Robinson’s wife, but said that was one of the reasons police had tunnel vision in their investigation.

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See it: El Cerrito police release videos of suspect in Walgreens robbery Photos: Peace and healing vigil for mass shooting victims at Lake Merritt Police in Pittsburg responding to reports of crash find man shot to death DA: Man was beaten to death with stepping stone in East Bay Fatal shooting in Oakland is city’s 60th homicide of 2021 Coleman was shot and killed around 5 p.m. July 2 near the intersection of 72nd Street and International Boulevard in Oakland. Six days later, police served a search warrant Robinson’s and found Ecstasy pills, as well as an AR-15 rifle, which Robinson denied knowledge of, according to court records.

Penrod also told jurors he would show that the Alameda County District Attorney’s office tainted the case, saying, “the state influenced witnesses and did it through threats, intimidation, and promises of leniency.”

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