David Robinson has already spent almost 20 years of his life in prison for a murder he did not commit.
This is despite the fact that another man confessed to the murder a mere three years after he was convicted. This is despite the fact that in February a state judge acknowledged his innocence and the Missouri Supreme Court ordered his release two weeks ago.
And still Robinson remains imprisoned, CBS News’ 48 Hours reports, in a case he calls a “living nightmare.”
“Been a living nightmare. It’s been an up-and-down rollercoaster,” Robinson said.
Robinson’s nightmare began in 2001 when he was convicted in the murder of Sheila Box, a 36-year-old mother who was found in her car, dead of a single gunshot wound, back in 2000.
Robinson, who had a history of drug crimes, was accused of shooting Box over a drug deal.
“That bothered me more than anything, to be wrongfully accused of killing a woman,” Robinson said.
Box’s daughter, Crystal King, was only 17 when she lost her mother.
“I was in disbelief,” King said. “It changed my world forever. I have memories of dancing with her in the living room. She was extremely beautiful, loving and caring.”
Still, there was basically nothing that tied Robinson to the murder. CBS reports that there was no physical evidence and only one eyewitness, who was a paid police informant by the name of Albert Baker. Baker claimed that he saw Robinson shoot Box.
An inmate also alleged that Robinson confessed while they were sharing a cell, but Robinson reportedly never shared a cell with that man.
“He was never in the same cell as David Robinson, and the prosecution put him on the stand even though they knew he had never shared the same cell,” Robinson’s attorney Charlie Weiss said.
Nonetheless, Robinson was sentenced to life without parole.
About three years later, another man, Romanze Mosby, confessed to the murder, saying that he was the one who sold the drugs to Box and killed her.
“I told her to throw the money, throw the money out, and I’m gonna throw her the dope,” Mosby confessed on a recording made by a defense investigator.
Then he panicked when he saw that she had a gun.
“And that’s when I just shot her, because I’d seen a little flash. I was walking up to it and she just raised her arm, and that’s when I shot her,” Mosby recalled.
In 2009, Mosby ended his own life, and by then, Baker had already confessed to giving false testimony after being given $2,500 in cash and expenses, but Robinson remained in prison, with all his appeals being denied.
The state of Missouri has until the end of the month to either retry Robinson or release him. The Missouri attorney general is expected to make an announcement later Monday, but it is still not certain when, if it at all, Robinson will be released.