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Jesse Jackson’s Half-Brother Charged With Murder

September 21, 1988

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ Noah Robinson, the half-brother of Jesse Jackson, was charged with murder Tuesday for the 1986 slaying of a man in front of a downtown building owned by Robinson, a prosecutor said.

The Greenville News quoted Solicitor Joseph Watson in Wednesday’s editions as saying he expects to seek the death penalty for Robinson because he is charged with a murder for hire. Watson said he also expected to seek the death penalty for ″other principal co-defendants,″ the newspaper reported.

Calls by The Associated Press to Watson’s home late Tuesday were not answered.

Robinson, a 45-year-old Chicago businessman and Greenville native, was the sixth person charged with murder for the 1986 slaying of Leroy ″Hambone″ Barber. Barber once worked for Robinson in Chicago and the two men had had several altercations over the years, Greenville police have said.

Although Robinson and Jackson share relatives in Greenville, the former Democratic presidential hopeful has said he has had no recent contact with his half-brother.

Robinson turned himself in to police Tuesday evening and was in the Greenville County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing, which would be held Wednesday at the earliest, Lt. Jerry Stargel said.

Murder warrants were issued previously against five Chicago men in Barber’s death: Edgar Cooksey, Alan Earl Knox, Eugene Cleo Hunter, Henry Leon Harris and Jackie Early Clay. Clay is a fugitive and the other four are in police custody. Their ages were unavailable.

Authorities have alleged that a five-member team from Chicago’s El Rukn street gang shot Barber in the head Jan. 2, 1986, after he was called to a pay telephone outside a lounge in the Greenville building.

A former gang member, Tramell Davis, has told authorities that the leader of the El Rukns ordered Barber killed for harassing Robinson.

″Robinson’s alleged involvement is he basically hired an El Rukn hit team to come to downtown Greenville to kill Barber,″ Watson said Tuesday.

Watson would not comment further about the case and said police were continuing their investigation along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in Chicago.

Robinson was charged in June with conspiring to kill Janice D. Rosemond, who told a Chicago grand jury last fall that she witnessed the 1986 slaying of Barber.

Within weeks of her testimony, Ms. Rosemond was attacked in her Greenville apartment. She survived five stab wounds and later recanted her testimony about the Barber slaying, saying she had been intimidated by police.

Freddie E. Sweeney, who once worked as a janitor in one of Robinson’s companies, has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill Ms. Rosemond.

Robinson has maintained that he had nothing to do with Barber’s death or Ms. Rosemond’s stabbing and said he is the victim of a massive government- sponsored conspiracy.

Robinson and a former employee, Jake H. Oliver, are charged with criminal conspiracy, intimidation of a witness, obstruction of justice and accessory to a felony in connection with the stabbing, and Robinson had been free on a $500,000 bond.

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