March 18, 2014 Jacksonville, Florida (ActionJax4) — A Jacksonville teen charged with fatally shooting another teen who was a neighbor and friend pleaded not guilty Monday to the execution-style slaying.
Gregory Robinson, 17, of Leonid Road is charged as an adult with second-degree murder in the death of Adrian Watkins Jr., 18. Watkins left his home Jan. 31 and his body was found in a ditch behind a north Jacksonville school the next day.
Police arrested Robinson a week later after mutual friends of the victim and suspect wrote a letter to Watkins’ parents giving them details about the killing. Police gave no motive, but Watkins’ father said he’d been told his son was targeted for telling the parents of another teen of Robinson’s plans to kill that youth.
Police found a gun they said was used in the killing while searching Robinson’s home. He denied any involvement.
A story about the killing and attempts by Watkins’ parents to protect their son from trouble was featured on the front of Sunday’s Times-Union.
Robinson pleaded not guilty through his public defender, Michael Bateh, in a hearing that lasted less than a minute before Circuit Judge Kevin Blazs.
Shackled and wearing a brown jail jumpsuit, Robinson slumped in a chair before being called before the judge. After the hearing, he glanced back at the gallery, where his aunt was seated, and was then led away by a bailiff. He is being held in the Duval County jail without bail.
Also watching from the gallery was Adrian’s father, Adrian Watkins Sr. Robinson’s aunt, whom Robinson lived with across the street from Watkins, declined to comment as she left the courtroom. Bateh also declined to comment.
The next court date is set for April 1.
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