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- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)23
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Court affirms conviction in Sikeston death
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A trial judge didn't err in excluding second-hand testimony a former Sikeston, Mo., man said could have cleared him of murder, a state appeals panel has ruled.
A Scott County jury convicted David Lee Robinson of first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the Aug. 5, 2000, shooting death of Sheila Box of Sikeston. Robinson was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. He never will be eligible for parole.
In his appeal, Robinson said circuit court Judge Fred W. Copeland shouldn't have barred the jury from hearing the testimony of Romance Mosby. Outside of the jury's presence, Mosby told the court that while an inmate at the Boonville Correctional Center in June 2001, his cousin, Carlos Jones, had confessed to killing Box.
The details of Mosby's story changed several times, and Copeland ruled his statements weren't reliable enough to be admitted under the narrow exceptions to the ban on hearsay testimony.
In a decision made public Friday, a three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District unanimously agreed that Mosby's testimony didn't meet the legal threshold for a hearsay exception and wasn't supported by other evidence. The court also said Robinson hadn't proved Jones was unavailable to testify about his alleged confession.
According to the ruling, Box had stopped at a drive-up pay phone in a high-crime area to call her fiancé. Robinson approached the vehicle and shot her twice. Box was later taken to a hospital, where she died during surgery.
Box had been carrying three money bags containing $300 in cash and checks -- the day's receipts from the restaurant she managed. The bags were not found in the vehicle, though some loose cash was.
Three of Robinson's relatives testified at trial that he was at a family gathering at the time of the crime. However, one eyewitness said he saw Robinson shoot Box, and another placed him near the scene around the time of the killing.
Robinson, 34, is incarcerated at the Potosi Correctional Center.