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article imageLawyer beats client with bat then uses 'Kennedy plea' Special

By Kim I. Hartman     Apr 19, 2010 in World
A Charleston, WV attorney plead guilty to attacking a client with a baseball bat. Joshua Robinson will be sentenced for the unlawful wounding charge at his hearing in May.
Joshua Robinson of Charleston plead guilty Monday in Kanawha Circuit Court to unlawful wounding, a felony in the State of West Virginia. Robinson, a Charleston attorney whose law license was suspended by the State Supreme Court in March 2010, was representing David Lee Gump II at the time the wounding incident occurred.
According to Kanawha County Court Records, 911 records and the police investigative report, "A neighbor who watched the two and called 911 said Robinson was chasing Gump around in the street with a baseball bat and was 'swinging wild, like a mad man.'" Gump had to receive medical treatment for his injuries.
Prosecutors have dismissed several charges against the attorney who was accused of beating Gump with a baseball bat. . Robinson was arrested when police were called to his home during an altercation with Gump. Robinson said Gump broke into his Lee Street home; those charges were dismissed by a magistrate who found no probable cause according to court documents.
In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of embezzlement, destruction of property and failure to appear against Robinson and agreed not to pursue an insurance fraud charge.
Robinson is being represented by a public defender appointed by Judge Louis Duke Bloom after he had appeared in court multiple times without representation and claimed he could not afford an attorney.
Robinson was in Bloom's court this morning to enter his plea. When asked if he had "hit a home run today" Robinson refused to reply. Robinson will remain on home confinement until his sentencing hearing May 27.
Gump did not appear in court today and according to the Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach his office has had trouble locating Gump and he did not show up in court for Robinson's trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday.
Robinson entered a "Kennedy plea" in which a defendant doesn't admit guilt to the unlawful wounding charge. To use such a plea, the defendant must believe they face more severe punishment at trial and have no genuine defense to raise against the charge. In order for a judge to accept a Kennedy plea, the prosecution has to present their evidence, and the judge has to believe there is enough evidence that a jury would reasonably convict.
In West Virginia an accused may often have an option to cop to a "Kennedy plea", in which the accused may voluntarily, knowingly and understandingly consent to the imposition of a prison sentence even though he is unwilling to admit participation in the crime, if he intelligently concludes that his interests require a guilty plea and the record supports the conclusion that a jury could convict him.” established by the West Virginia State Supreme Court in 1987.
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