Baltimore jurors acquitted the suspect in the 2016 shooting death of a 31-year-old man who federal prosecutors said was killed over a drug debt after being robbed by corrupt Baltimore Police officers.
A city jury found Antwon Frasier not guilty of first-degree murder and related gun charges Thursday afternoon. City prosecutors alleged he gunned down Davon Robinson on July 1, 2016, in Edmondson Village as Robinson sat in his vehicle outside his family’s home.
Federal prosecutors said last year that Robinson was robbed about two months before his death of $10,000 by corrupt members of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force. Without the money, Robinson couldn’t pay back a drug debt and was killed.
Jurors deciding Frasier’s case did not hear about the alleged tie to the corrupt officers. The state’s case focused on the accounts of two witnesses — one of whom recanted — who had said they saw Frasier pull the trigger. Frasier’s defense attorney, Hunter L. Pruette, said police had failed to fully investigate the case.
“This case has a lot of doubt,” Pruette told jurors.
Robinson’s girlfriend, Lekyle Whitaker, told jurors she was sitting in a car parked in front of Robinson’s vehicle when she made eye contact with a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt, who made his way to Robinson’s car and started shooting.
“I’ll never forget how he looked at me,” she testified.
Prosecutors also played a recorded phone call in which Robinson’s cousin, Antoine, told an inmate he saw Frasier, whose nickname is “Sticky,” shoot Davon Robinson. In the call, Antoine Robinson said Frasier had approached Davon Robinson days earlier about getting paid back, and Davon Robinson blew him off.
“Sticky killed Wooda, son!” he cried into the phone, using Davon Robinson’s nickname.
Brought into court, however, Antoine Robinson denied that he saw the shooting, and said he had no personal knowledge of who pulled the trigger. He slumped in the witness chair, with his head down, as the jail call and his interview with detectives was played.
Assistant State’s Attorney Rita Wisthoff-Ito told jurors that Antoine Robinson was recanting because he was understandably scared — he himself was shot not long after Davon Robinson’s killing.
“This is the reality of what you have to deal with and face when you come into court,” Wisthoff-Ito said.
She called Davon Robinson’s killing an execution and said there was enough information available to believe Frasier was the killer.
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The case did not feature any physical evidence linking Frasier to the killing — there were no fingerprints or DNA recovered from shell casings, and the murder weapon and getaway car were never recovered.
After his arrest, Frasier was recorded on a call from jail asking a girlfriend to “wipe down” a dirt bike, which Wisthoff-Ito asserted was code for the getaway vehicle.
There was no surveillance camera footage either, even though when Antoine Robinson was shot at the same location days later, a neighbor said he had the incident on tape. Det. Richard Moore testified that the neighbor had lied to him after Davon Robinson’s killing and claimed that the camera did not work.
Pruette questioned why detectives had seized two phones from Frasier but not attempted to search their contents or retrieve cell tower records that might show Frasier’s whereabouts.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you deserve better than this,” Pruette told the jury.
Jurors deliberated for only a couple of hours Thursday afternoon.
Pruette said his client had spent more than two years awaiting trial, as accusations related to the corrupt gun unit swirled around the case. He said Frasier “looks forward to spending time with his family and moving on with his life.”