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Jackson’s Half-Brother Convicted of Accessory Charge In Stabbing

January 30, 1989

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ Jurors say physical evidence was lacking in the murder and conspiracy case against Chicago millionaire Noah Robinson, who was convicted as an accessory in the stabbing of a gangland murder witness.

Robinson, the half-brother of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, received the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison following Saturday’s conviction of accessory after the fact of a felony.

State Circuit Judge James E. Moore declared a mistrial on the other charges against the 45-year-old Greenville native: murder, conspiracy to commit murder, criminal conspiracy and accessory before the fact of assault and battery with intent to kill.

Solicitor Joe Watson said Robinson would be retried on those charges.

Defense attorneys said they would appeal. An appeal bond of $100,000 was set, and Moore reinstated bond of $100,000 on the other charges.

The murder and murder conspiracy charges stemmed from the 1986 shooting death here of childhood friend and former employee Leroy ″Hambone″ Barber. The criminal conspiracy and accessory charge resulted from the 1987 stabbing of Janice Denise Rosemond, who witnessed Barber’s slaying by reputed Chicago gang members. Ms. Rosemond survived.

Jurors, who deliberated for 16 hours over three days, said after the trial that the Rosemond portion of the case was bolstered by physical evidence, but the Barber portion was not.

They said panel members leaned against convicting Robinson of murder and conspiracy because some didn’t believe prosecution testimony by former members of the El Rukns, a powerful Chicago gang. Three former gang members charged with murder in Barber’s death testified on condition the prosecution not seek the death penalty against them.

″I just was expecting a whole lot more evidence,″ said Monica Burrell, who voted to acquit Robinson of the Barber charges. ″Basically what they had was a bunch of testimony from gang members, and I just found it hard to base my opinion on that.″

A juror who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Greenville News the panel convicted Robinson on the accessory charge because of physical evidence that the businessman’s associate Holandus ″Jake″ Oliver wired money to relatives of Freddie Sweeney, who was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill Ms. Rosemond.

Sweeney, a former employee of Robinson, testified that Robinson offered him $5,000 to kill Ms. Rosemond because she reportedly testified about Barber’s murder before a grand jury in Chicago.

Watson placed into evidence copies of money orders wired from Robinson to Sweeney after Sweeney allegedly attacked Ms. Rosemond.

Robinson, whose business interests include a construction company, has maintained that he is a victim of a political conspiracy caused partly by Jackson’s success.

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