‘I want them to know that no one is above the law:’ Man sues city, former officers in wrongful murder conviction

David Robinson sues City of Sikeston

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - The man who spent 17 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit filed a lawsuit against the city, the detective on his case and the former chief.

David Robinson, through his attorney, claimed the now former detective, John Blakely, directed the investigation that caused Robinson to be falsely accused and convicted.

Former Sikeston Department of Public Safety Chief Drew Juden allegedly oversaw the investigation into the 2000 murder of Sheila Box and supervised Blakely.

Robinson said he filed the suit, “because I felt it was the right thing to do. My constitutional rights were violated with no regard.”

The federal lawsuit alleges wrongful arrest, violation of Robinson’s first and fourth amendment rights, civil rights conspiracy and violation of Robinson’s 14th amendment rights; under Missouri state law it alleges malicious prosecution, abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional stress, negligent infliction of emotional stress and civil conspiracy.

Through the suit, Robinson requested a jury trial, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and any other relief the court finds he may be entitled. A dollar amount was not listed, so those damages would be determined by the court.

“The filing of a civil suit by Mr. Robinson and the Bryan Cave Law Firm is not unexpected. Our Sikeston city attorney and other legal counsel will review this suit relating to events that occurred almost 19 years ago and will respond appropriately.”
City Manager Jonathan Douglass

Robinson was freed from prison in May 2018.

The charges against him were dropped after a special judge’s report found Robinson had nothing to do with Box’s murder.

“People don’t know the emotional and financial toll that this has taken on David as well as myself. Being close to him, I see the ups and downs, the joys, the sorrows that others don’t see. One can’t imagine what a person goes through not sleeping, trying to adjust to a world that changes every day. He is free from incarceration on the inside but there is still not a sense of freedom on the outside.”
Pat Robinson, wife of David Robinson

“I hope to accomplish justice, not just for me but for the family of Sheila Box and all the families that were affected,” Robinson said. “Also, to make sure it doesn’t happen again to me or anyone else.”

He also had a message to the community.

“I want them to know that no one is above the law," he said.

Robinson said he left the state on the advice of his attorneys and his family and “in the best interests of my safety.”

He said it’s been a struggle getting back to a normal life and he’s had a hard time finding a job.

On a more positive note, Robinson said he did get to attend his daughter’s wedding in October 2018.

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