Murder trial continued

Published 10:49 pm Monday, January 30, 2012

By Dale Liesch
The Tidewater News

A murder trial that had been scheduled Monday for a Suffolk man in Southampton County Circuit Court has been delayed until April 26.

A motion to continue Darrin Robinson’s trial was granted after his attorney, Pat Cannon, cited new evidence, problems locating a witness and ongoing negotiations with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

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Robinson, 22, is among five men charged in the shooting death of 28-year-old Darrin Lee outside his home in Southampton Meadows trailer park on Oct. 7, 2010.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke told the court he was ready to proceed, but acknowledged that moving forward Monday would open the case up for appeal.

“There are a number of things that concern me if we proceed today,” Cooke said.

Bruce Boone, 19, of Suffolk, in September admitted to second-degree murder for Lee’s death and faces eight to 18 years in prison. He avoided the possibility of life in prison by making the deal.

Ernest Jones, 23, of Portsmouth, admitted to second-degree murder for Lee’s death and faces 13 to 23 years in prison.

Both men await sentencing.

Shahon Cumbo, 23, of Franklin, is scheduled for a jury trial Feb. 6 on charges of first-degree murder.

Rasheed Brown, 22, of Franklin, who was named by Boone as the triggerman, is also charged with first-degree murder and has a jury trial scheduled for March 6.

Lee — a well-known drug dealer, according to prosecutors — was abducted from Man Market on South Street in Franklin and taken to his home. Lee, 28, drove them to his home, but was reluctant to let them inside, because he had family there. During the incident, a car pulled up and flashed its lights. That’s when the shooting occurred.