One of First Cold Cases Reopened by DA Goes to Court

TOPEKA, Kan. - One of the first cold cases reopened by Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor since he took office came back in front of a judge Friday.

There are 42 unresolved deaths in Shawnee County, according to spokesperson Dakota Loomis. "Our office put together a full case file on all open homicide investigations and reviewed each case to determine whether there were new investigative techniques or testing that could be utilized," Loomis said. Eight cases fit that criteria. The D.A.'s office has since sent off evidence to be tested on those eight cases.

"Frank Robinson is one of the cases we reviewed and we have since made the determination to file charges against Mr. Robinson based upon the available evidence, but it is not one of the cases that is currently under review. It is an active and filed case," Loomis said.

In March, Robinson was charged by the district attorney's office with one count Murder in the 1st Degree, Flight Inherently Dangerous Felony; and one count Aggravated Arson - Dwelling; w/o Consent & No Risk of Bodily.

Those charges are in connection with an arson fire at a four-unit apartment, 427 SW Tyler, Topeka, on August 8, 2006.

That fired killed Marvina Washington, 53.

Friday, Robinson had a preliminary hearing in Shawnee County District Court. Loomis said witnesses were brought in for the hearing. Robinson was bound over on all counts. A judge is now going to choose a date for jury trial. Loomis expects the judge to set a date next week.

If convicted, Robinson faces life in prison.

History
A federal arson charge was filed against Robinson for the fire, but it was dismissed in April of 2007 over jurisdictional issues.

That sent the case back to the D.A. at the time, Robert Hecht. Hecht had said he was waiting on investigation reports to be given to him before he could decide whether to file charges against Robinson.


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