By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOERSTOWN — The second day of the Dylan Robinson trial at the Otsego County Courthouse ended Tuesday, June 22, with jury deliberations, after the prosecution rested and the defense chose not to submit any evidence.
Robinson is accused of allegedly killing his father, Kenneth Robinson, and burning his house after a failed robbery attempt. He is charged with second-degree murder, burglary and attempted robbery in the first degree and third-degree arson.
Tuesday morning testimony began with Cory Robinson, 14, who testified that he remembered the night of Oct. 10, 2019 “because that’s the day my dad died.”
Cory Robinson, 12 at the time, was awoken by gunshots in the house.
He said that armed people came in his home wearing blue bandannas and he recognized two of them as his brother Dylan Robinson and Alexander Borggreen. Someone pointed a gun at him and asked for his phone, so he gave it to them.
Afterwards, he and his brother, Aiden, were told to put pillows up to their faces and walked a short distance from the house. They were told to walk back and found their home in flames.
He found Kenneth Robinson’s body when he came back to the house. “When I took the pillow off, I saw my dad,” Cory Robinson said.
After this testimony, the prosecution rested.
With defense attorney Thomas Hegeman choosing not to mount a defense, the case proceeded to closing arguments.
“This could not have been an easy trial to sit through,” Hegeman said to the jury. “It’s also a very big demonstration that the district attorney must prove his case and that has not been done here, ladies and gentlemen.”
Hegeman pointed out perceived inconsistencies with the statements of the witnesses including Anais Soto, one of the accomplices who testified the previous day, and Cory Robinson, saying that Soto “did not know details she should’ve known,” including the distance between Oneonta and Worcester, as well as Soto’s testimony of walking through woods, which conflicted with Cory Robinson’s testimony.
Hegeman also pointed out that Soto was expected to take a plea deal during her own court case.
“There is reasonable doubt here,” Hegeman said, encouraging the jury to “scrutinize, scrutinize, scrutinize.”
“You’re going to find the evidence on a whole doesn’t hold up,” Hegeman said.
District Attorney John Muehl dismissed these perceived inconsistencies in his closing remarks.
“These people are testifying on something that was extremely traumatic,” Muehl said. “Cory was testifying on how his father was murdered and his home was burnt down.”
Muehl also said that Soto was part of a group that she didn’t expect would result in somebody’s death.
“What they’re saying is consistent,” Muehl, though he allowed it was not perfectly consistent. “There were no inconsistencies from what (Soto) said to the police.”
“She seemed to have a difficult time testifying about what she’d done,” Muehl said, reminding the jury that Soto couldn’t finish the sentence of “I knew my life was …” because of distress when asked about what she was thinking after the incident.
Muehl remarked on the callousness of the tragedy as Dylan Robinson knew his brothers were in going to be in the house.
“I find it sad and particularly concerning,” Muehl said. “Why didn’t Dylan just wait until his brothers were in school and his dad not home?” Muehl said they could’ve gotten “all the marijuana and money he wanted.”
“Kenny died for nothing. They didn’t get a damn thing,” Muehl said. “They just left Kenny Robinson on the floor for nothing. …. If you’re honest with yourself, there is no reason for doubt.”
Muehl said in closing that while Soto had taken responsibility for the crime, Dylan Robinson had not.
“I don’t care how young you are, you know better than to do this,” Muehl said. “He bragged about it all the way back to Oneonta. … There is simply no reasonable doubt.”
The jury began deliberations and it requested a read back of Detective Brian Mackey’s statement, the state trooper who initially interviewed Dylan Robinson. Later, just before adjourning for the day, the jury requested the entire video of the interrogation and requested a recess.
The jury is expected to reach with a verdict Wednesday, June 23.