MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) - Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the felony murder conviction of Hiawatha Robinson. Robinson, 42, of Semmes, was convicted in Mobile County Circuit Court in September of 2016 for the murder of his daughter, Hiawayi Robinson.
Evidence presented at trial showed that on September 16, 2014, Robinson picked up his eight-year-old daughter, Hiawayi, from her mother and grandmother’s residence. However, a short time after she left to meet him, he called her mother and grandmother and claimed he had never picked her up. Robinson insisted he had not seen Hiawayi since the Friday before.
A wide-ranging search began which included elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), and the Prichard and Mobile police departments. The girl was found two days later partially disrobed on a rarely traveled road in a location Robinson used to work, but which is presently used as a dumpsite. Expert testimony indicated that the girl died from positional asphyxia while being sodomized. Several days of testimony linked Robinson to the murder including false statements by Robinson to law enforcement, items of the girl that she was wearing that day found in Robinson’s car, and videos from business establishments indicating that the victim was in fact in Robinson’s car shortly after he picked her up.
The case was prosecuted at trial by Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich’s Office. Circuit Judge Charles A. Graddick sentenced Robinson to 100 years imprisonment and Robinson subsequently sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal. The Attorney General's Criminal Appeals Division handled Robinson’s case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued Friday, April 20.
Attorney General Marshall commended Assistant Attorney General Ferris Stephens of the Attorney General's Criminal Appeals Section for his successful work in this case.