Dash-cam video at center of pretrial hearing for alleged murderer

Feb 21, 2020

PLYMOUTH — A Feb. 21 pretrial hearing for David Robbins, the Onset man arrested for killing Yves Roux Jr. in November, centered around a video captured by Roux’s dashboard camera.

Robbins’ defense attorney John Amabile made a motion for bail, and argued that Robbins was being overcharged with first degree murder, when based on evidence in the video, manslaughter, or at most second-degree murder would be more appropriate. Prosecutor Shannon Buckingham disagreed with Amabile’s interpretation of the video, and argued that there was evidence of premeditation. 

In Amabile’s description of events, Robbins was driving to work early on the morning of Nov. 6, while Roux was driving behind him. While the two men were driving on Main Street in Wareham, Roux became upset with Robbins, possibly for driving too slow. 

In Amabile’s description, Roux then cut Robbins off, and boxed his vehicle into the curb. Amabile then said that Roux got out of his vehicle, and yelled at Robbins. Amabile said that Roux began punching Robbins through the window of his truck, and that Robbins stabbed Roux once in the armpit, severing an artery, and eventually killing him. 

Amabile argued that Robbins acted in defense, noting that he is 65-years old, and Roux was in his thirties, and weighed well over 200 pounds. He added that Robbins never got out of his truck during the altercation.

In his case for why bail should be allowed, Amabile said that Robbins is a caretaker for his elderly mother, and has a long working history. He added that Robbins has no ties out of the state and that there is no “realistic probability that he is a flight risk. “

Amabile said that he and his client would accept any conditions imposed by the court, such as home confinement, or a GPS tracker. 

In Buckingham’s description of events, the video shows that the altercation began when Robbins slammed on his breaks and “gave the middle finger” to Roux. 

She confirmed that Roux did get out of his vehicle to confront Robbins, but said that he did not box his vehicle against the curb, as Amabile had suggested. She also said that there was no evidence to suggest that Roux struck Robbins, as he showed no physical signs of damage after being arrested. 

Based on this, she argued that Robbins was not in imminent danger, and should be charged with murder rather than manslaughter. She explained that the state does not need to specify which degree of murder a defendant is being charged with, and that that decision could be left to a jury.  

In her case against Amabile’s argument for bail, Buckingham noted that Robbins “goes about his day as if nothing has happened,” after stabbing the victim, and did not immediately turn himself into the police. Robbins drove directly to work after the incident and worked a full day.

She also noted his criminal history, which includes an assault with a dangerous weapon in 2005.

Judge Brian Davis said that he would need to watch the video before making a decision on whether, or not to approve bail. 

Davis explained that if the case for first degree murder is at all viable, Robbins will not be granted bail, based on the “tremendous incentive for defendants to flee,” in first degree murder cases. 

If the first degree murder charge is not viable based on the evidence, Davis said that Robbins may, or may not be granted bail. 

It is unclear when Davis will make a decision on the motion for bail, but the next pretrial hearing has been scheduled for April 23 at 2 p.m.