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Slaying case placed on dead docket

COVINGTON - Chief Superior Court Judge John Ott signed an order Tuesday placing the aggravated assault and murder case against Delaney Douglas Robinson on the dead docket. The motion, brought by the Newton County District Attorney's Office, cites the suspect's defense of justification for the shootings and credibility issues with witness statements.

Robinson, 23, was arrested in July 2008 in connection with a triple shooting that took place at 86 Kirkland Road, the residence of one of the victims. One man, 17-year-old Joseph Matthew Miller, was killed in the shooting and two other men were wounded. Their wounds were not life-threatening.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Layla Zon said Wednesday that investigation into the case revealed that the three victims intended to steal a gun from Robinson, who had driven to the Kirkland Road residence from Riverdale with the younger brother of one of the victims.

"Essentially, the facts were that the deceased, Joseph Miller, and the other alleged victims were planning on jumping Delaney Robinson for his gun," Zon said.

Robinson and several other people were hanging out on the back porch of the Kirkland Road residence, Zon explained, when Miller struck him in the head from behind, causing Robinson to fall forward.

"He essentially fell into a wall, and at that point, Miller reaches around Robinson and tries to grab his gun (from his waistband). Robinson grabs the gun and shoots backward," Zon said.

Robinson turned around to see that the other shooting victims were advancing toward him, Zon said. He fired twice, wounding each of them, and then fled to an office across Kirkland Road.

Once inside the office, Zon said Robinson put down the gun and asked to call 911.

"We look at it from the standpoint of what would an innocent person do," Zon said. "In this case, he runs across the street, calls the police and puts the gun down."

In the process of interviewing witnesses in the case, Zon said it became apparent that several of the nine people at the house were aware of the plan to steal the gun from Robinson. In addition, Zon said several witnesses would not come forward to make a statement in the investigation, including one of the two wounded men. There were inconsistencies in the statement given by the second wounded man, she said.

Zon also said that Miller's father discussed the case with her and acknowledged that he had heard talk on the street about the plan to jump Robinson and steal his gun.

Robinson, who was charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, has spent nearly a year in jail on the charges. While his case has been dead-docketed, Zon said the case has not been dropped.

"We explained to him that we can revive the case if we find that what he is saying is not true or if he gets in trouble," Zon said.

She said Robinson has indicated a desire to enlist in the Marines.