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Published: Saturday, 6/29/2002

Robinson guilty of murder in Jaquillard shooting death

Christina Robinson was found guilty last night by a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury of helping her former boyfriend shoot and kill Aaron Jaquillard last year.

The jury spent about five hours in deliberations before returning its verdict, finding Robinson guilty of murder and aggravated robbery in the shooting death of Mr. Jaquillard, 29, of East Central Avenue.

The panel returned not guilty verdicts on specifications that a gun was used in the crimes.

Robinson, 32, was teary-eyed as the verdicts were read, but otherwise showed little emotion.

The victim's family members remained calm during the announcement of the jury's decision.

The penalty for murder is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Robinson also faces a maximum 10-year sentence for aggravated robbery, which could run consecutively to the penalty for the murder conviction. Judge Robert Christiansen scheduled sentencing for July 18.

Mr. Jaquillard was shot in the back, stomach, and head with a 20-gauge shotgun on April 13, 2001. Erie Township, Michigan, police found his body in his sport utility vehicle on Lotus Drive near Hagman Road about eight hours after the murder.

Robinson's former boyfriend, Christopher Johnson, 27, was arrested a day later and indicted on murder and aggravated robbery charges. However, Johnson entered into a plea bargain, receiving a 16-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and robbery.

Johnson testified that Robinson, who lived with him at 5404 Benore Rd., shot Mr. Jaquillard about 2:30 a.m. when he came to collect a drug debt. He said they had discussed killing him because he had threatened to hurt Robinson, her 7-year-old daughter, and Johnson's grandparents.

He said Robinson shot Mr. Jaquillard in the back and stomach, handed him the gun and instructed him to shoot because “you are in this, too.” Johnson said Robinson took the victim's wallet, divided the money that was in it, and cleaned blood from the walls and floor. Johnson said they loaded Mr. Jaquillard's body into the back of the victim's Chevrolet Blazer and he drove it across the state line.

However, Robinson, who took the witness stand yesterday, denied involvement in the shooting. She testified she was in a bedroom getting ready for bed when she heard gunfire. She said she walked into the living room and watched Johnson shoot the victim in the abdomen.

She said Johnson then pointed the shotgun to Mr. Jaquillard's head, but she didn't see him shoot. “I was just so shocked. I ran out of the room,” she said. “I saw him point it to his head. I knew what he was going to do.”

Robinson told the jury that Johnson threatened to hurt her and her family if she went to authorities or didn't clean up blood in the house. When she refused to cooperate with the cleanup, she said Johnson told her: “You see how easy it was for me to do this. I will do the same to you and your family.”

On cross-examination, Mark Herr, an assistant county prosecutor, asked why Robinson didn't call police when Johnson left and, if she felt threatened, why she visited Johnson 17 times in the county jail. Robinson said she feared her former boyfriend and that he could have others hurt her family.

Mr. Herr, in his closing argument, attacked Robinson's credibility. He said she lied to police and Mr. Jaquillard's mother and brother when they came to the house on Benore the morning after the shooting inquiring if he had been there.

Robinson's attorney, Thomas Frye, of Euclid, Ohio, argued that Johnson acted alone in the murder and had planned the shooting weeks before. “What Chris Johnson did was an execution,” he said.



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