HipHopWired Featured Video
Federal authorities announced on Wednesday that they wouldn't pursue charges in the Shanquella Robinson case, citing lack of enough evidence.

Source: Shanquella Robinson via Instagram / Instagram

Federal prosecutors announced that they would not be moving forward to press charges in the case of Shanquella Robinson, eliciting anger from her family’s legal team and supporters.

On Wednesday (April 12), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina delivered the news in a press release. “As in every case under consideration for federal prosecution, the government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a federal crime was committed,” it read in part. The statement would go on to say that “the available evidence does not support a federal prosecution,” which means that any legal action will be up to the authorities in Mexico to pursue. Federal authorities notified Robinson’s family of the decision and offered their condolences, saying they’d review new information if it became available.

Sue Ann Robinson (who is unrelated), the family’s lawyer, held a press conference that afternoon after the federal government’s statement. “We are disappointed but not deterred,” she said before continuing: “How are you closing an investigation on a case where the cause of death is undetermined?” Robinson also said that civil action can still be taken in the case, but it has to include high-level intervention. “We hope that there is still a chance at justice in Mexico. Mexican prosecutors have issued arrest warrants in this case and are willing to pursue charges. We strongly encourage The United States to move forward with the extradition of those responsible for her death to Mexico to face accountability there,” her statement in conjunction with attorney Ben Crump read.

Shanquella Robinson, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, was killed while vacationing with six friends at a San José del Cabo resort last October. A video of Robinson being repeatedly punched in the head and kicked by a woman during the trip went viral shortly after, prompting an investigation by the F.B.I. and local authorities. Those who she traveled with claimed she died of alcohol poisoning, while an autopsy performed in Mexico stated she died due to “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation.”

Robinson pointed out the discrepancies in the autopsies done by the medical examiner in Mexico and one done in Mecklenburg County last November. “Based on the history and autopsy findings, it is my opinion that the cause of death in this case, is undetermined,” said Dr. Thomas Owens. Robinson feels that this could be due to the initial autopsy being delayed, as F.B.I. investigators did interview all those present on the trip but not fast enough.