Autumn Pasquale Case – Dante Robinson Let Out of Jail Pleads Guilty to Obstruction – Miscarriage of Justice? [POLL]
This is not the way the community of Clayton would have wanted this case to end.
One of two brothers initially charged in the death of 12 year old Autumn Pasquale, 17 year old Dante Robinson, was let out of jail yesterday after having been convicted of 4th degree obstruction of justice.
Some are questioning whether the legal system worked in this case. Problem is this is the outcome no one would have wanted. Anything short of life sentences for the two brothers would have amounted to a slap on the wrist.
Dante Robinson, initially charged in the death of Autumn Pasquale, was released from a youth correctional facility Tuesday, according to sources close to the case.
In afternoon court proceedings, Dante, of Clayton, pleaded to fourth-degree obstruction in Family Division Superior Court Judge Colleen Maier’s courtroom. The teen, who has been in the Camden County Youth Correction Facility since last fall, was sentenced to six months in jail and released with time served, according to a confidential source.
“Dante Robinson was released from custody today. He admitted no crime,” said Chris Hoffner, the teen’s attorney on behalf of the family. “This confirms what we always knew. Dante did not hurt the decedent and was not involved in her death or the moving of her body. People may not want to believe it, but the truth prevailed today, and Dante is home.”
Dante and his brother Justin Robinson were 17 and 15 last October when arrested and charged in juvenile court with the girl’s killing.
Last month Justin Robinson, now 16, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter after taking sole responsibility for luring the pre-teen to his house and strangling her.
He was sentenced on Sept. 12 to serve 17 years in state prison of which 85 percent, or about 14 years, must be served before he is eligible for parole.
Dante Robinson’s release suggests that he reached a plea deal on a lesser charge, but authorities would not comment because juvenile court dispositions for minor offenses are confidential.
Jaime Kaigh, a lawyer for Autumn’s mother, told The Associated Press that the family hopes the end of the criminal case brings “closure and healing.”
Before Justin Robinson’s sentencing hearing, several friends of Autumn’s family expressed frustration that the teen who admitted to the killing was not getting a longer sentence.
Prosecutors said that because of his age and developmental disabilities, it was not certain that a judge would have ordered the case moved to adult court. And if he had been convicted of murder as a juvenile, he could have been paroled in as few as seven years.
They also said there was no physical evidence to show which of the brothers had killed the girl.
It was the brothers’ mother who contacted authorities after seeing something that bothered her on one of their social media accounts as the community searched for Autumn.
So in effect, any conviction is better than no conviction at all. Yes, there’s no doubt that a plea deal has been reached; and if you were to speak to a criminal lawyer, I’m sure you’d be told that the case would have been lost had they both been tried as adults.
So no, justice was not served, since for it to be served, the two brother would have had to been put away for the rest of their lives.
But the justice system, however flawed, did work – crazy as that may sound.