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Law enforcement officers enter not guilty pleas on murder charges for the killing of Jamarion Robinson

U.S. Marshal Eric Heinze and Clayton County Police Officer Kristopher Hutchens were indicted on murder charges in October. On Tuesday they entered not guilty pleas.

ATLANTA — U.S. Marshal Eric Heinze and Clayton County Police Officer Kristopher Hutchens appeared in court Tuesday for the first time as they answer to the murder charges filed against them for the 2016 killing of 26-year-old Jamarion Robinson.

A medical examiner's report said Robinson was shot 59 times by law enforcement, leaving him with 76 gunshot wounds.

Heinze and Hutchens both appeared in a Fulton County courtroom along with their attorneys over Zoom. 

Both entered not guilty pleas and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville set a September trial date for the case.

Outside the courthouse, Robinson's mother Monteria Robinson said she is relieved the case is finally set to head to trial after years of waiting. 

"I didn't know how long it was going to take," she said. "I didn't expect for it to take this long, but we are here, we are grateful. We are thankful we are seeing justice prevail."

In October, a grand jury returned an indictment charging the law enforcement officers with felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary in the first degree, false statements, and violation of oath.

Glanville in court Tuesday said he would adjust the trial date for the case as needed, depending on the outcome of related federal court proceedings. 

Attorneys for the officers late last year filed requests to have the case moved to federal court where court records show the pair would plan to seek immunity as federal officers, a move the Fulton County District Attorney's Office has objected to. 

A federal judge has not ruled on the request. 

Following the indictment, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service released a statement confirming Heinze was on administrative duty in response to the criminal charges filed against him.

“We take seriously any allegation of misconduct by our personnel," the statement read. "Heinze will be placed on administrative duty until the matter before Fulton County Court is resolved. This indictment represents the first time in more than a decade that a deputy US Marshal has been criminally charged for discharging a firearm as part of on-duty conduct.”

Clayton County Police confirmed Hutchens was also placed on administrative duty.

On Aug. 5, 2016, a U.S. Marshals task force attempted to arrest the 26-year-old in East Point at the request of Gwinnett and Atlanta Police on warrants from two separate incidents.  

Heinze was on the task force, Hutchens was serving on the U.S. Marshal Service SE Regional Fugitive Task Force at the time of the shooting.  

Cell phone video from outside the apartment where the shooting took place captured nearly three minutes of gunfire.

At the time, U.S. Marshals reported Robinson had a gun.  

Robinson’s mom said she called police over one of the incidents, but not to have him arrested - she wanted to get him mental health assistance. His mother said at the time he had been recently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and that police were aware of this.

A private detective hired by his mother uncovered evidence of gunshots straight into the ground where his body was lying. Robinson had been a college football player at Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University, and had no criminal convictions.

There is no body-camera video of the shooting though because, at the time, federal policies didn't allow for U.S. Marshals or local police officers assisting them to wear body cameras.

 

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