TRIAL: Oakland Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murder – Defense Accuses Police, Prosecutors of ‘Tunnel Vison’

By Sydney Kaplan

OAKLAND – Marius Robinson pleaded not guilty to murder and several other drug and weapon related charges here in an Alameda County Superior Court trial last week, accusing the Oakland Police Department of “tunnel vison.”

A mysterious eyewitness video was shown to jurors Wednesday, and the trial was continued until July 26.

According to Deputy District Attorney Adam McConney, in July of 2020, the victim and Robinson’s wife had a verbal altercation in a parking lot.

After Robinson learned about the altercation, he and his wife returned to the parking lot. Allegedly, Robinson was armed with a gun; his wife was armed with a hammer.

The victim was pronounced dead from gunshot wounds in the same parking lot after Robinson and his wife were seen leaving.

The defense, led by Deputy Public Defender Joseph Penrod, maintain Robinson is not guilty.

PD Penrod argued that the combination of Robinson’s car at the scene of the crime and the previous altercation between Robinson’s wife and the victim limited the Oakland Police Department’s ability to do a real investigation.

Allegedly, the Oakland Police Department had evidence that pointed both toward Robinson and toward another shooter. But, according to Penrod, the evidence pointing toward the other shooter was dismissed.

In the days following the shooting, the Oakland Police Department was able to obtain a search warrant for Robinson’s car.

During this search, the Oakland Police Department uncovered an AR-15 rifle and several ecstasy pills. Robinson denied any knowledge of these items.

Several days into the trial, a video of the shooting was sent in anonymously at 1 a.m. The video was played in court the next morning.

This video presents evidence against Robinson. However, different versions of the same video were found, causing confusion over the extent to which a key piece of evidence was disclosed to the defense.

Wednesday, July 20, the official version of the video was played for the jurors. The video was edited and enhanced by an expert witness who testified that same day, allowing full disclosure for all parties.

Prior to this incident, PD Penrod had alluded to the jurors that the Alameda County District Attorney’s office was skewing the case by “influenc[ing] witnesses through… intimidation and promises of leniency.”

No evidence backing up Penrod’s accusation was presented in court.

About The Author

Sydney Kaplan is a rising third-year at Santa Clara University. With a Political Science major and Journalism & Economics minors, her main passion lies in discovering the various intersections between her fields of study. Currently, she is most interested in comparative media policy and criminal justice reform.

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