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

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

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, Robinson is already there. Jury selection 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, and that he 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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