Shanquella Robinson’s family sends letter to White House; documents reveal moments before and after death
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It has been more than four months since Charlotte native Shanquella Robinson was found dead in Cabo, Mexico. After holding a news conference in Washington, D.C. demanding the federal government take action to bring her killer to justice in early March, they’re now calling on President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken personally to bring their family justice.
Related: Shanquella Robinson’s family calls for ‘diplomatic intervention’ in death investigation
National activist and attorney Ben Crump participated in the news conference earlier this month and their message was clear: to get top politicians such as President Joe Biden to publicly acknowledge the case to put pressure on the investigation.
In early November a video showing an alleged fight goes viral on social media. Robinson’s parents told WBTV an autopsy report showed she died of a cracked spine.
The Mexican government has issued an arrest warrant for a “direct aggressor” on the trip, but no one has been arrested. Mexican authorities claiming they’re working with U.S. officials to extradite the individual.
Although Mexico has issued a warrant for an individual, the United States has not yet done so, and Robinson’s family is pushing for federal charges.
“In our letter to President Biden and Secretary Blinken, we clearly stated that one of two things needs to happen: either the U.S. extradites Shanquella’s killer to Mexico or the U.S. takes jurisdiction of the case and her killer is prosecuted here,” said Crump in a press release from March 15. “Inaction is not acceptable in this case. Shanquella’s family deserves swift justice for her death.”
Related: Search for answers in Shanquella Robinson’s death stretches into fourth month
“If a United States citizen commits homicide in Mexico and returns back to the United States, as you are aware they can face criminal charges in the United States under federal law or state law, depending on the circumstances of the crime. Federal charges are brought in cases where the crime involves interstate commerce or federal law enforcement agencies,” the family’s attorneys Ben Crump and Sue-Ann Robinson (no relation) said in the letter to Biden.
Sue-Ann Robinson, in an interview with WBTV, says sending the letter was important.
“We don’t want to leave any room for the administration to say, ‘we don’t know about the case, we didn’t have the details, we didn’t understand what the family ask is,’ she said. “Because we need a high level of diplomatic intervention, we sent the correspondence to the highest diplomats in our country.”
Included in documents released by the law firm Tuesday is an interview conducted by investigators in Mexico.
An employee at the resort Robinson was staying at describes providing assistance to the friends and Robinson inside their Cabo, Mexico, villa. That unidentified male employee told investigators the group arrived on the night of October 28, he said he met Robinson around dinner time. He added she was the last to the table, and ‘seemed not to fit in with the others and was out of place at that party.’
“Obviously Shanquella was attacked by someone in the group, one of the travel mates . So the employee describing their interaction lets me the environment she was in for her last moments was not a positive one,” Sue-Ann Robinson said to WBTV.
The FBI announced an investigation into the death of Robinson on Nov. 18, 2022, but again, no charges have been brought.
“Given the nature and scope of this case, we believe that diplomatic intervention from the U.S. Government could help facilitate the necessary cooperation and coordination between the involved parties to ensure that justice is served timely, that the accused are tried under the appropriate legal system, that extradition is possible, and that international cooperation is fostered,” the letter reads.
Extradition of a United States Citizen to a sovereign country can be difficult, but the family’s attorneys say it’s not impossible.
“The United States can follow the extradition protocol and turn over the individual or individuals responsible for Shanquella’s death to Mexican Authorities. Alternatively, U.S. federal law enforcement agencies can request concurrent jurisdiction with Mexican law enforcement agencies which would permit U.S. prosecutors to bring the case in the United States as the involved parties are U.S. Citizens,” the letter reads.
Pointing to another violent incident in Mexico, attorneys say there have been instances of the two countries working together to bring justice across national borders.
“We have just witnessed what a swift concurrent response from Mexican and U.S. law enforcement agencies looks like in the kidnapping case of a group of U.S. Citizens at Matamoros, Tamaulipas Mexico,” the letter reads.
Additional Docs Redacted by Michael Praats on Scribd
Shanquella Letter Redacted Final by Michael Praats on Scribd
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