Caddo ADA: Shreveport brothers suspected in six homicides - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Caddo ADA: Shreveport brothers suspected in six homicides

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Jake Robinson Jake Robinson
Bruce Cotton Bruce Cotton
Glenn Ford upon release (Courtesy: WBRZ) Glenn Ford upon release (Courtesy: WBRZ)
Police have long whispered amongst themselves about Jake and Henry Robinson brothers and their reputations as ruthless killers who evaded trial on a number of cases.

When Glenn Ford was released from custody after nearly three decades on death row, prosecutors turned their attention to the Robinsons, Ford's former acquaintance.

Isadore Rozeman

New evidence in the 1983 murder case of Shreveport jeweler Isadore Rozeman led prosecutors to release Ford from prison without retrial.

"This is a rare occurrence for something like this," Caddo Parish District Attorney Charles Scott said. "In most of the cases- and practically all the cases in Caddo- there is direct evidence that the person who is convicted of first degree murder is, in fact, the killer."

In court documents, Assistant District Attorney Dale Cox writes: "Indeed, if the information had been within the knowledge of the State, Glenn Ford might not even have been arrested or indicted for this offense."

New information from confidential informants put another person behind the gun.

"We've been working on this for decades, literally, so we hope that it'll be the first day for Glenn to start a new life," Ford's attorney Gary Clements said as the men walked away from the prison that's been Ford's home since his conviction.

The Robinsons and another man were arrested and indicted for Rozeman's death, but charges were dismissed. Only Ford stood trial.

Bruce Cotton

"At the time I just didn't know how to take it," Bruce Cotton Jr. said about his father's death. "I cried. I cried every day. Some days, I still cry because he was always there for me."

February 27, 2004, Caddo Parish Sheriff's deputies found Bruce Cotton's car with the Shreveport man dead inside. Cotton was brutally beaten, sliced and stabbed through the lung and sternum. Investigators say he was tortured and ultimately bled to death.

"Part of what we're dealing with is, he knows a lot of people and it's probably going to be for every one we know, we're going to end up meeting ten more," investigators told KTBS 3 News at the time of Cotton's death.

For ten years, his family didn't know who was responsible or why, until the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office announced Jake Robinson's arrest May 20.

Robinson is notorious with area law enforcement, along with his brothers Henry, John, and Arthur. John and Arthur are currently serving time in Louisiana prisons.

Authorities say Jake and Henry were suspects in a number of murder cases, but their reputations as cold-blooded killers were enough to quiet potential witnesses.

Previous article: UPDATE: Former Shreveporter charged with 2004 murder believed to be tied to six homicides

Robert Earl French

August 1, 1980, police found Robert Earl French, 29, dead. French was shot once in the back, four times in the head and was still holding car keys in his left hand.

Police talked to French's sister who said the victim bought drugs from a man named Jake but didn't pay for them. The two men argued the day before French's death, she said.

Jake Robinson was interviewed but never arrested.

Charles B. Hayes

January 31, 1987, police responded to a reported suicide of 12-year-old Charles B. Hayes.

Investigators noted the "subject allegedly hanged himself." His death didn't make coverage of the year's homicides, but several witnesses now tell police a much darker story: The boy's mother, they say, sold drugs for the Robinsons, shorted them she money owed, so they killed her son as a warning to others.

"People will be discussing these matters with Detective Richardson and then once that name is mentioned, they discontinue all conversation," Cox said. "Except for a few brave souls, we would still be in the unsolved case category."

Terry Richardson's spent his whole career chasing Jake and Henry Robinson, suspects from the start in Cotton's and other Caddo cases.

"There are other cases over the years that have come to my attention as I interview people," Det. Richardson said.

Claudell Staten

Claudell Staten's body was found, dead from a gunshot south of Shreveport March 20, 1988.

Henry Robinson was arrested in the days following Staten's death but never faced trial.

Fifteen years later, Bruce Cotton would also end up nearby and in similar circumstances.

"Both victims were found with an almost identical marker- a bruise to the upper right side of their eye," Cox said. "It almost looked like a rubber stamp or signature if you will."

Investigators say they now have enough evidence to take the case to the grand jury this summer.

"I feel that there are people in Caddo Parish who still have information that will help us in that," Richardson said of the Staten case.

Police say they have new information and multiple credible witnesses that led to Glenn Ford's release, the Cotton indictment and the Staten grand jury. They are tight-lipped about exactly how many or who that means, but US Marshals carried out a DNA test on Jake Robinson last year in the Cotton case.

Jake Robinson has requested a formal extradition hearing in Oklahoma. The DA's office will need a Governor's Warrant from Louisiana but only has to prove that the Jake Robinson in custody is the same Jake Robinson for approval. They says the procedure involves paperwork more than criminal evidence.

Caddo Parish investigators say their credible sources have also linked Robinson to a cold case in Los Angeles County, California.

Leo Morris aka "Ronnie Dawson"

Ronnie Dawson was reportedly shot and killed May 27, 1987 in Los Angeles County, California. When authorities ran his fingerprints, that name turned out to be an alias. Leo Morris escaped from Louisiana Department of Corrections and ended up in Inglewood California. Caddo authorities have reached out to Inglewood Police Department to help them solve their cold case.

Related resource: The National Institute of Justice describes a cold case as any case whose probative investigative leads have been exhausted. In essence, this means a case that is only a few months old may be defined as being "cold."

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