James Cornelius Robinson, a 19-year-old Suitland, Maryland man who was arrested over the weekend in connection with the August shooting death of Jason Alexander Murphy, told police in October that he didn’t shoot Murphy.
But an interview last month with one of his friends who is facing charges of his own prompted police to issue an arrest warrant charging Robinson in the case.
Robinson appeared at DC Superior Court on the second-degree murder charge Saturday. At that appearance he was ordered held pending a preliminary hearing.
According to charging documents in the case, Robinson became a suspect when a witness told police that they had heard about 26 gunshots the night Murphy was killed and had seen three black men standing around where Murphy’s body was later found. The witness identified those people as Robinson, known as “Jim Bob,” Marquette Gaskins, known as “Fat Cat,” and Dalonte Harrison.
Neither Gaskins nor Harrison appears to be in custody in DC or have charges related to Murphy’s death.
Police asked Robinson about Murphy’s death after Robinson was arrested for unlawful entry. Robinson said he, Gaskins and Harrison were in the alley where Murphy was shot that night, but that there were other people there too and he didn’t shoot Murphy or see anyone else shoot Murphy.
Late last month, a person with outstanding criminal matters in other jurisdictions spoke with DC police and told them that Robinson had spoken about killing Murphy, saying that he shot him “at least seventeen times” and robbed him.
Murphy was found with a cell phone next to him and a gun and $1,000 in cash in his pockets.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in the case for January 7.
Charging documents are below.