LA Forensics: The Sandwich Shop Murders
The Man with the Gun
Richardson and Moseley set about corroborating the story so they could get evidence for an arrest warrant. The first item they acquired was proof from a dealer about Robinson's purchase of a .380.
Around this time, they received another call from a man who currently worked with Robinson at a grocery store. They had both served in the Marines, he said, although Robinson had only lasted a few months, and Robinson had recently confessed to him that he had committed the sandwich shop murders in retaliation for a false accusation months before; he had seemed quite excited about it. He mentioned that a friend had been with him and described exactly how the crime had gone down. The caller provided this rendition of what Robinson had described about the incident:
Supposedly when Robinson walked in, one of the young men recognized him from a store where both had previously worked, and so he knew he'd have to shoot them both. So he'd pulled out the gun and made them open the cash register and safe. He then shot the tall kid, while the other tried to run. He caught him and shot him, but the gun didn't have enough killing power," so he'd had to shoot him again. He forgot to grab the cartridges before he fled out the back door. He added that the employee who had opened the safe was the one who had squealed on him the year before about the missing money. Both victims, he said, had pleaded for their lives.
The narrative didn't quite match the facts, but it was close enough. Then a buddy of Robinson's told the police that Robinson had bragged to him about the sandwich shop slayings. It was he who had urged Jackson to tell the police.
With four solid witnesses, the detectives got a warrant and went to where Robinson lived. He was there and willingly went to the station in custody while Richardson and Moseley searched his barren apartment. There they found a stainless steel .380 sitting in plain sight on a shelf over the television.
Robinson's demeanor upon his arrest was also revealing. "He wasn't sullen," said Moseley. "He wasn't excited. He wasn't mad. He wasn't angry. I mean, there should be some reaction from an innocent person, but he was void of emotion."
But Robinson was not about to admit to anything.