UPDATE: State to seek death penalty in Facebook killer trial

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Caddo Parish prosecutors today announced the state will seek the death penalty in the First Degree Murder trial of Johnathan Robinson.

His arraignment, originally scheduled for today, will be postponed until July 31 to allow the Caddo Parish Public Defender Office time to turn over Robinson’s case to attorneys with Louisiana’s Capital Defense Project. 

Robinson is accused in the April 12, 2018 death of Rannita Williams, a former girlfriend, as she begged for her life on Facebook Live.

Lead prosecutor Mekisha Creal made the state’s decision to seek the death penalty in a  hushed courtroom packed to capacity with family members of both the defendant and the victim, as Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart observed from the jury box. 

Caddo Parish Sheriff’s deputies lined the courtroom, as the defendant was brought in through door behind the bench where Judge Ramona Emmanuel sat. 

Although Robinson was accompanied by the Caddo Correctional Center’s Special Response Team, who had to tackle the defendant to the floor after an outburst in a previous court appearance, it wasn’t necessary. Today, Robinson stook respectfully at the defense table, not making a sound.  

Originally, Robinson was charged with Second Degree Murder in Williams’ death, but on June 13, a Caddo Parish grand jury brought back an indictment for First Degree Murder. The indictment states Robinson “committed the First Degree Murder of Rannita Williams while he was in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an Aggravated Burglary or Second Degree Kidnapping.”

Robinson also was scheduled to be arraigned today on seven Attempted First Degree Murder charges, after wounding one Shreveport Police officer and shooting at six others during the standoff when he was inside the home with the victim, but that arraignment also was moved to July 31. He also faces charges on firearms violations and property damage, after he shot up a house and car when he was shooting at police during a standoff during and after the homicide took place.  

ORIGINAL STORY:

The State today announced that it will seek the death penalty in the trial of Johnathan Robinson.

Robinson is accused in the April death of Rannita Williams.

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