Crime

Jury convicts Robert Lee Miller of murder in Brown Avenue shooting

Robert Lee Miller III\
Robert Lee Miller III\ Muscogee County Jail

More than four years after Antonio Deshawn Robinson was gunned down behind the wheel of a Jeep Cherokee, a Superior Court jury convicted Robert Lee Miller III of murder and other charges Thursday in the April 21, 2012, shooting near George Street and Brown Avenue.

A jury of seven women and five men returned the verdict about 11 a.m. after about two hours and 30 minutes of deliberation. They found Miller guilty on all charges, which included two counts of felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault and three counts of possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime. Sentencing is set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 11 in Recorder’s Court.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew J. Landreau , the lead prosecutor in the case, said he’s pleased with the outcome of the case but noted that the lives of three men have been changed forever. Javonta Saquan Harris, 23, has already pleaded guilty in the shooting and sent to prison.

“Two men’s lives are ruined and one is dead,” he said. “I don’t look at this as a win.”

The trial did bring some resolution for Jeanette Davis, the grandmother who raised Robinson, 19. “She has been dealing with this  for 4 1/2 years,” Landreau said. “She can finally go home tonight and rest.”

Defense attorney Michael Reynolds said Miller, 22, of Columbus was extremely disappointed with the verdict. His right to appeal will be considered before the sentencing.

Reynolds said he presented the case with what he was dealt. “Sometime, you get lemonade and sometime sour grapes,” he said. “As an attorney, all I had was the facts given to me. I can’t change them.”

Reynolds said the jury had a difficult time believing that Miller got out of his Kia Sorento before Harris pursued the Jeep on Brown Avenue. That’s what Miller told the jury on Wednesday in his own testimony. “I said I didn’t want to be part of this,” he said. “Let me out.”

Landreau said it was impossible that Miller wasn’t in the vehicle. A passenger who wasn’t shot inside the Jeep testified that Miller was in the Kia. Video from the Cream Club on 10th Avenue shows that Miller and Harris left just before 2 a.m. and Harris argued with men in the Jeep. After leaving the parking lot, Harris drove Miller’s Kia behind the Jeep to the Majestic Sports Bar parking lot where more words were exchanged.

The first police call about a shooting on Brown Avenue came in about 2:03 a.m. Evidence at the scene indicates at least five shots were fired into the Jeep.

“The time is what convinced them he was guilty,” Reynolds said of Miller. “They took times off the Cream nightclub, times taken off at the Majestic and the times the call came in. They didn’t believe he had time to get out of that car and not be involved in it.”

Reynolds said the jury has spoken. “We have to abide by what the jury says,” he said.

Miller is the second suspect headed to prison in connection with the shooting. After pleading guilty in 2015, Harris was sentenced to 20 years each on one count of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault and five years for possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. His possible release date is February 2033, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

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