BENTON -- A Sikeston man will spend the rest of his life in prison following the ruling of a jury Friday.
A Scott County jury sentenced David Robinson to life in prison without the possibility of parole on a charge of first degree murder for the Aug. 5, 2000, shooting death of Sheila Box. Jurors also recommended life in prison on a charge of armed criminal action.
It took the jury members about four hours to reach their verdict Friday afternoon. When it was read before the court by Judge Fred Copeland, the audience, a mixture of the defendant's and the victim's families, reacted with tears and anger prompting Copeland to seal the courtroom to allow jurors to safely depart the courthouse.
The two-and-a-half day trial began Wednesday with Elizabeth Bock and Andy Hosmer of the Missouri Attorney General's office presenting the prosecution's case.
Approximately a dozen witnesses were called by prosecutors including an eyewitness to the shooting on Aug. 5. The witness stated he saw Robinson approach Box's car, which was parked at a convenience store at the corner of West Malone Avenue and Branum Street.
In his testimony, the witness stated he saw Robinson put a gun through the window, then heard a shot before observing Robinson fleeing the scene.
During cross-examination by Robinson's attorney, Chris Davis with the Missouri Public Defender's Office, it was pointed out the man was returning from west Sikeston where he had bought crack cocaine. The man also noted he was in the witness protection program since coming forward with his testimony and was being paid.
The revelation prompted Bock to observe to the jury: "Schemes hatched in hell are not witnessed by angels."
As part of the prosecution's evidence, a witness was called who had been in jail with Robinson. The man told the court Robinson admitted shooting Box and stealing her money.
Box's fiance testified the woman should have had about $300. When Robinson was taken into custody after the shooting, he had over $900 in his possession.
Robinson did not take the stand on his own behalf. However, several relatives testified the night of the shooting he was with them at a family fish fry and could not have been at the scene of the murder.
The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered.
No formal sentencing date was set for Robinson by the court. He remains in the Scott County Jail.