Hearing continues in Rapides for convicted killer looking to get off death row

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Darrell James Robinson, the man convicted and sentenced to death in 2001 for the 1996 murders of a family of four in the Rapides Parish community of Poland, was back in the courthouse on Thursday in an effort to get his conviction and sentence thrown out. Robinson is currently on death row at Angola.

(Source: RPSO)

This hearing is a continuation of a two-week long hearing back in May. Post-conviction attorneys believe that Robinson could have had ineffective representation at his original trial and that the case's original prosecutor could have withheld evidence. Both Mike Small, Robinson's original attorney, and Mike Shannon, the case's prosecutor, have denied wrongdoing.

Dr. James Pinkston, a clinical psychologist, and neuro-psychologist was the only person called to testify Thursday. He refuted the testimony by several defense experts and their testing methodology. In one instance, he said results were skewed in a defense test Robinson had to do with his hands because he was handcuffed the entire time. During cross-examination, Robinson's attorneys pointed out that Pinkston wasn't present for the test that was conducted.

Pinkston also said he found no evidence in reports that Robinson ever had any traumatic brain injuries, as reported by the defense, or fear of police.

Pinkston explained a prior arrest of Robinson's: "He is placed in a squad car and begged for his life and asked not to be shot. [...] He (a defense expert) left out a lot of information...he was belligerent...he spits on the floor...he says that's an attorney question (when questioned by police)...I don't get a picture of someone overpowered by law enforcement."

Pinkston also testified that he believed that Robinson scored average on some tests instead of below average as defense experts testified to.

Testimony is expected to wrap on Friday before the case is handed over to Judge Patricia Koch.

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