FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas signee JoJo Robinson will not be charged with one count of armed robbery, clearing his path to the Razorbacks this summer.
Miami attorney Larry Handfield said all the charges in Robinson’s case were dropped last week, ahead of an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday.
“They realized he was just the victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Handfield said Thursday. “But he has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.”
The 18-year-old Robinson was arrested after being the rear passenger in a vehicle involved in an armed robbery last month. Lakeith Stafford, the driver, stopped his vehicle while an unknown co-defendant, later identified as Keytoy Lee, got out and approached the victim and witnesses, according to the arrest report.
Lee pointed a firearm at them, demanded a gold bracelet, then forcibly removed it from the victim. He returned to the vehicle, which fled the scene. The vehicle was later identified with only Robinson and Stafford still inside, according to the arrest report. The victim and witnesses identified both.
Robinson’s father, Joseph Robinson, said at the time his son put his trust in the wrong person by catching a ride home after a workout.
“He’s the kind of kid that doesn’t see too much wrong in anyone,” Joseph Robinson said Thursday. “That’s kind of like a default.”
A “no-action memo” submitted March 13 by Denise Georges of the Florida state attorney’s office stated that “Stafford and Lee have clear roles respectively as getaway driver and gunman, however Robinson’s role is insufficient to prove anything more than mere presence.” Georges also wrote in conclusion “while there is evidence that Robinson became aware of the crime as it was being committed, there is no evidence that he had any prior knowledge of a criminal plan or had a conscious intent that the robbery be committed.”
The arrest came a few days before Arkansas’ Red-White Game, but Robinson still traveled to Fayetteville and attended the scrimmage. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said after the Red-White game he wasn’t “at liberty” to discuss Robinson’s situation, but also indicated he had no concerns about the wide receiver.
“One of the things we always constantly pride ourselves on is doing everything right on and off the field,” Bielema said. “I would say this: If there was any concern on my behalf, if there was any validity to it, he wouldn’t be here. He’s a great kid.”
Robinson is regarded as one of top signees in Arkansas’ 2014 class after catching 70 passes for 760 yards and 4 touchdowns. He signed with the Razorbacks after originally making a verbal commitment to Florida State and Arkansas believes he can make an impact in the passing game immediately.
Joseph Robinson said his son is scheduled to arrive on campus in late June.
“This was definitely a lesson learned for him and we’re ready to move on,” Robinson said after the charges were dropped in the case. “I’m pretty sure he’s excited and he’s ready to come on up there to Arkansas and do some good things up there.”
Former Arkansas center Travis Swanson has signed with the Detroit Lions.
Swanson was selected by Detroit in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 76th overall pick earlier this month. Swanson tweeted out a photo as he signed the contract with the caption “I’m officially a Lion!”
The financial terms of the four-year deal were not available, but should be comparable to the 76th pick in last year’s draft. Wide receiver Keenan Allen signed a $2.813 million contract that included a $613,800 signing bonus.
Swanson was one of four Razorbacks selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, joining defensive end Chris Smith (Jacksonville), fullback Kiero Small (Seattle) and kicker Zach Hocker (Washington). Hocker is the only drafted Razorback who hasn’t signed.