Friday, November 30, 2012

Nye County Murder Update: Robbins Asks For New Trial

I doubt the defense team will be successful at the District Court level but...
From the Pahrump Valley Times: Nine days after being convicted of second degree murder, the man who shot and killed his daughter’s 21-year-old boyfriend in 2011 is already asking for a new trial.
Lawyers for Daniel Robbins filed a motion for a new trial on Thursday, arguing that several errors of law were made leading up to their client’s Nov. 20 conviction.
Robbins’ lawyers say they should have been able to show the jury a video of an accidental shooting to better inform jurors of how easily a gun can go off, even in the hands of a police officer.
Also, a jury instruction about the definition of trespassing was not allowed, which the defense says also hurt its case.
Third, the motion suggests prosecutors in the case were allowed to make “numerous untrue and high (sic) inflammatory statements” during their closing arguments, which inflamed the passions of the jury.
“The prosecutor’s misconduct was detrimental to Robbins and led to the adverse verdict against him,” the motion reads, adding, “The accumulation of errors of law addressed above deprives Robbins of a fair trial.”
Robbins was convicted of putting a gun to the neck of Chris Mundy on Aug. 18, 2011 as the younger man sat frozen in a vehicle in Robbins’ Benson Circle driveway. Robbins pulled the trigger, sending a bullet through Mundy’s neck and into the arm of a then-14-year-old witness in the case, Pablo Flores....

“The entire theory of Robbins’ case stems from the trespass of Chris Mundy and Pablo Flores onto Robbins’ property in the middle of the night. Without being instructed on the mere definition of trespass, the jury was left to speculate as to whether or not the actions of Mundy and Flores did in fact form a trespass. This error of law left Robbins defendant (sic) with a gaping hole,” the motion read.
Deputy District Attorney Tierra Jones repeatedly told jurors during the weeks-long trial that anything Mundy or Flores did the night of the shooting had no bearing on the case — neither Mundy nor Flores were on trial for anything, she said over and over. And defense attorneys repeated just as often the mantra that their client was defending his family and property that night, calling Mundy a trespasser and an intruder multiple times throughout the trial.
Regarding the misconduct allegations, the defense motion suggests that no single prosecution statement inflamed the jury, but in their totality the statements denied Robbins a fair trial.
“Initially the prosecutor made statements characterizing Robbins’ actions as ‘coming out of the house with guns blazing.’ This characterization can only be intended to inflame the passions of the jury and as such is highly inappropriate,” the motion states.
Another phrase defense attorneys took umbrage with was when Jones characterized the shooting as an “execution.”
“There was no testimony or evidence that could extrapolate to this conclusion. ‘Execution’ is a type of killing which is not indicated in any way shape or form in this case,” Winder’s motion argues.

 Finally, Winder lays out yet another argument in the motion for a new trial, this time alleging juror misconduct. The mother of Flores allegedly encountered a juror in the bathroom of the courthouse.
“It is clear that the mother of Pablo Flores, Tammy, initiated a contact with one of the jurors when she entered the bathroom immediately upon seeing one of the jurors enter the bathroom.
This appearance of impropriety is enough to initiate an inquiry by the court and to possibly hold an evidentiary hearing as to what if anything the juror was told by Ms. Flores. … At a minimum failure to do so would result in an infirm conviction of Robbins and clearly would be reversible error,” the motion states.
I don't think the legal arguments about the trespassing and inflammatory statements in the closing comments will go anywhere at the District Court level, mainly because the judge has shown that he didn't care about these issues during the trial.
But the fact that the mother of Mundy was allowed to confront a juror int he bathroom does raise, even if she didn't say anything, should be grounds for a new trial.  The jury should have never been allowed to be in that situation.  If the reversed happened and Robbins wife talked to the juror, the prosecution would have cried foul and demanded that Robbins wife be held in contempt for the contact with the juror and a mistrial probably would have been asked for.
And by the way, where did you here first about Mundy's mom contacting a juror?  Why, it was here:
Nice to see that someone is willing to print the truth about this situation. Also worth noting, Tammy Flores, the mother of Pablo, followed a juror into the bathroom shortly before deliberation. That should at least be enough for another trial if not something more. 
Eat your heart out, Matt Ward, you worthless and biased reporter.
In the end, i hope that Robbins win's his appeal, though it probably won't happen at the trial court level, he will have to get it from the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, an innocent man is still in jail and justice in Nye County seems perverted.

1 comment:

  1. Just to clarify, Mundys mother wasn't there for the entire trial. Technically his biological mother lives in california, a drug addict. He was in a foster home since 7 and never was adopted. His foster mother never came either. However they did hold a benefit after the incident and she took the money from the public and instead of burying him, they purchased tattoos with the publics money. hmmmmm......
    any how it was Flores in the bathroom with a juror she followed her directly into the bathroom. can't say you don't know who they are, they were id badges to say they are a juror.
    there is something fishy going on in this town and Mr Robbins is only guilty of protecting his family from unwanted trespassers. Not allowing the trespass instructions definitely was crime in itself.
    The defense put on a great case and the prosecutors had no case. Everyone there was shocked and amazed at what occurred at the verdict.
    Thank you for keeping up with this, you can see thru the PVTimes biased reporting.....