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WATER VALLEY – A jury deliberated for less than an hour before delivering a guilty verdict in a two-day trial for a Water Valley man charged with severely beating an elderly man in 2020. Marcus Robinson was convicted for aggravated assault on May 9 after evidence presented at the trial proved that he had repeatedly beaten a 68 year-old man.
Evidence included graphic pictures of the victim’s injuries and pictures of the damaged apartment on Blackmur Drive where the altercations occurred. The evidence also included blood-stained clothes Robinson was wearing at the time of his arrest and personal items belonging to him that were found inside the victim’s apartment. The victim was discovered on Dec. 1, 2020 by officers with the Water Valley Police Department during a welfare check requested by the Water Valley Housing Authority.
“The victim suffered a severe and savage beating,” Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Marvell Gordon told the Herald after the trial. “It happened over a period of hours.”
Gordon also said the victim’s injuries included multiple facial fractures, injured ribs, bleeding on the brain in at least three spots, a broken nose and broken jaw.
“It was one of the worst aggravated assaults I have seen,” Gordon added.
The ADA also noted that injuries on the victim’s body indicated there had likely been multiple prior assaults.
“I think some of the injuries clearly came over time. He was bruised up bad, but some of the bruises were in an advanced state of healing. Some were fresh,” he explained.
Gordon said information from a neighbor helped provide a timeline for the length of the assault.
“A neighbor said whatever was going on was so bad she couldn’t sleep,” Gordon said. “The neighbor left her residence and when she returned the next morning, it was still going on. There was another neighbor who also said there was always something going on in that apartment.”
Gordon, who was appointed ADA in the 17th Circuit Court District in January, praised the investigative work by the Water Valley Police Department.
“My observation of the Water Valley Police Department is that they are very deliberate in the way they operate,” Gordon said. “I get to ask the questions (in trial), but they have to do the work and the jury has to weigh the evidence. ”
Last week’s trial for Robinson was the second time he has been tried on the aggravated assault trial. An earlier trial held last September ended with a mistrial was declared after the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.
“I would like to thank the District Attorney’s office for retrying this case,” Water Valley Police Chief Jason Mangrum told the Herald. “We were able to get justice for the victim and ensure a repeat violent offender is off the streets.”
Robinson had been previously convicted for two counts for the sale of cocaine in 2000, for robbery in 1993 and aggravated assault in 2000 according to court records. All four convictions were in Yalobusha County Circuit Court.
“The defendant had a history of violent crimes and had not been out of prison long when the latest offense occurred,” Mangrum also told the Herald.
More Trials Scheduled In The Fall
Court records show a busy docket in the fall term of Circuit Court in Yalobusha County that starts Sept. 5. Trials are scheduled including for two brothers charged with murder in a 2020 highway shooting, an arson and first degree murder case against Billy Brooks in the high-profile killing of a former state representative.
Brothers Jarvis Roberson and Geraldo Roberson were each indicted for first degree murder (deliberate design) in the March 28, 2020 death of Tallahatchie County resident Barney Edward Frost. The brothers’ trial date has been pushed back multiple times, including a last-minute continuance earlier this month for a scheduled May 8 trial.
Frost was gunned down on Hwy. 7 followed a high speed chase that started in Lafayette County.
Billy Brooks had also been scheduled for trial in May before a continuance was granted, pushing his case back to September. Brooks was indicted for first degree arson in the Dec. 26, 2020 fire at a mobile home located at 12 Pat Drive in the Boat Landing community west of Water Valley. An occupant, Kristina Michelle Jones, was discovered deceased inside the home after firefighters discovered the blaze. Her death has not been ruled a homicide. Brooks was also indicted for first degree murder in the June 13, 2021 death of former state representative Ashley Henley.
Brooks’ indictment for arson was handed down by a grand jury on February 24, 2022. An amended, superseding indictment was handed down by a grand jury on June 30, 2022, as a second count for first degree murder was added to the original indictment, indicating the two crimes could be connected, and the arson charge and murder charge will be heard during the same trial.
A trial is also scheduled August 14 for Timothy Arron Dewberry in a three count indictment that includes sexual battery (with a child less than 14 years of age), gratification of lust and child exploitation.