Not enough evidence to prosecute Shanquella Robinson case, federal investigators say

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023
US investigators will not prosecute Shanquella Robinson case
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Federal investigators determined Wednesday they don't have enough evidence to prosecute anyone in the death of Shanquella Robinson.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Federal investigators determined Wednesday they don't have enough evidence to prosecute anyone in the death of Shanquella Robinson.

Robinson, a 25-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, was found unresponsive at a villa in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Less than 24 hours earlier, she and a group of friends had just landed for what was supposed to be a luxury vacation.

Federal authorities met with Robinson's family Wednesday to share their findings and tell them there would be no prosecution at this time. It was not the news Robinson's family wanted to hear, as last month they sent a letter to President Joe Biden to get the federal government involved.

SEE ALSO | Shanquella Robinson's family calls for diplomatic intervention months after death in Mexico

Robinson's family held a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Civil rights attorney Sue-Ann Robinson began the news conference by saying, "We are disappointed but not deterred."

"There's no reason why a Black woman should go on vacation with her friends, be returned to her family in a box, and nothing be done for five months," she said.

She accused the FBI of being slow in interviewing the people who went on the trip with Shanquella.

"The U.S. authorities have to understand and have to know that, even if we're them -- it's not about Shanquella -- that United States citizens cannot go to Mexico, commit a crime that we all saw on a video, and then come back to America and say 'we're on base. We're safe. We're not going to be charged with a crime,'" Sue Ann Robinson said. "That cannot be the message that the U.S. authorities want to send."

Robinson's death in October 2022 has been shrouded in confusion. The people she traveled to Mexico with said she died of alcohol poisoning. However, autopsy results told a different story: "severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation."

However, Sue Ann Robinson revealed Wednesday that she was informed that a U.S. autopsy did not reveal a spinal cord injury. It did find swelling of the brain, she added.

Mexican investigators did file an arrest warrant in the case, but that warrant has not yet yielded an actual arrest.

It's unclear at this time how U.S. prosecutors' decision to not press charges will affect the arrest warrant from Mexican authorities.

"It is important to reassure the public that experienced federal agents and seasoned prosecutors extensively reviewed the available evidence and have concluded that federal charges cannot be pursued," a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office read.

Sue Ann Robinson said civil action can still be taken in the case.

SEE ALSO | Raleigh attorney stands with Shanquella Robinson's family as they demand government to step up