The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it would not be pursuing criminal charges in the case of a North Carolina woman who died last year while vacationing in Mexico.
In a statement, the agency’s Western District of North Carolina said their decision comes following a review of Shanquella Robinson’s autopsy and available evidence in this case. The Charlotte Observer reported that U.S. officials emphasized that Daejhanae Jackson, one of the six people who went to Mexico with Robinson last October, is not considered a suspect following an FBI investigation.
The US Attorney’s Office said that based on an autopsy, conducted by the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office, and “after a careful deliberation and review of the investigative materials” by the US Attorney’s Offices in both the Western and Middle Districts of North Carolina, prosecutors determined “that the available evidence does not support a federal prosecution.”
“The death of Ms. Robinson has been incredibly difficult for her family and the community,” the office said in its statement after meeting with Robinson’s family. “As a matter of policy, federal officials generally do not issue public statements concerning the status of an investigation. However, given the circumstances of Ms. Robinson’s death and the public concern surrounding this investigation, it is important to reassure the public that experienced federal agents and seasoned prosecutors extensively reviewed the available evidence and have concluded that federal charges cannot be pursued.”
In an 18-page information packet given to U.S. officials in March, Mexican authorities reportedly identified Jackson as the “perpetrator” and issued a warrant for her arrest. The document also alleged that a concierge at the Cabo Villas told an investigator that Robinson was the last person in her group to arrive for dinner and she appeared “not [to] fit in” with her party.
The following day, Jackson allegedly texted the concierge about a doctor and where nearby medical services were located as her friend had alcohol poisoning. Jackson ultimately agreed to have a doctor come to their room.
The doctor eventually arrived and gave Robinson an I.V. bag. An hour later, she suffered convulsions and died.
The concierge told investigators that Robinson was said not to be in serious condition but was unconscious and required an I.V., as CrimeOnline previously reported. At some point, Jackson allegedly texted him about taking Robinson to the hospital — though he learned the group discussed whether they had the insurance to cover a hospital trip.
Though Mexican officials initially attributed Robinson’s death to alcohol poisoning, a death certificate lists her death as a severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation — suggesting her first vertebra became unattached from her skull. The report does not mention alcohol.
Following her death, a video surfaced online which apparently shows Robinson being attacked in a hotel room. During the video, someone is heard telling “Quella” to “at least fight back.” According to reports, an administrator at the villas told police in November that he believed Jackson is the woman seen beating Robinson in the video circulating on social media.
However, the family’s lawyer, Sue-Ann Robinson (no relation), said on Wednesday that an FBI-ordered autopsy was inconclusive. The autopsy did not find any spinal cord injuries but did locate brain welling. The attorney said the the autopsy was performed after Robinson was embalmed, which led to these findings.
In addition to the autopsy, the FBI reportedly interviewed the six people who traveled to Mexico with Robinson and reviewed the video of Robinson apparently being beaten.
It is unclear if the U.S. Attorney’s Office announcement affects the pending extradition request from Mexico. The Department of Justice or Department of State’s stance on extradition is also unknown.
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[Featured image: Shanquella Robinson/Instagram]