Updated with comment from the defense, prosecution, and victim’s family

Man accused of 2019 killing found not guilty

Oct 15, 2021

After nine hours of deliberation that stretched across three days, a jury at the Plymouth County Superior Court found David Robbins not guilty on all charges related to the 2019 stabbing of a man on Main Street.

Robbins had been charged with murder as well as assault and battery with a dangerous weapon following the stabbing of 33-year-old Yves Roux Jr. in the early morning hours of Nov. 6, 2019. 

The incident was caught on Roux’s dashboard camera, and followed a road rage dispute between the two Wareham residents. 

District Attorney Shannon Buckingham had argued that Robbins had committed first-degree murder, which is defined in part as “an intentional killing with deliberate premeditation or by extreme atrocity and cruelty” — a characterization disputed by Robbins’ defense attorney, John Amabile.

Amabile told Wareham Week that the jury found Robbins innocent because he was acting in self-defense. 

The jury’s decision followed a six-day trial. 

Amabile said that the prosecution argued that Robbins premeditated and intended to kill Roux — a claim he said was “preposterous.”

According to Amabile: Roux had boxed Robbins in next to a curb and behind a parked car. When Roux approached Robbins, yelling threats, Robbins “had no choice but to defend himself.”

Robbins didn’t intend to fatally injure Roux, and was aiming for his arm. That Roux’s arm was raised and Robbins struck an artery in his armpit was “pure bad luck for both people,” Amabile said. 

Roux returned to his car and turned it around in an attempt to drive toward Tobey Hospital, and Robbins continued on his way to work in the opposite direction, with no knowledge of how severe Roux’s injury was, Amabile said. 

“A killing in self-defense is not an unlawful killing,” Amabile said.

While Amabile acknowledged that Roux’s death was a tragedy, he noted that Robbins spent nearly two years behind bars, throughout the entirety of the covid pandemic, without being found guilty of a crime. 

Robbins’ wife Miriam contracted covid and died in the hospital in September. 

“He can never get that time back,” Amabile said. “And after all of that, a jury found him innocent on all charges.”

Amabile also contested the way he thought the media had portrayed Robbins as a “homicidal maniac” when he was acting in self-defense.

Amabile said that this case is an example of the justice system working as it should, and noted that the jury contained people of various ages and professions. He said he was unsure if any of the jurors were people of color — Robbins is white, and Roux was Black.

A statement from the family of Yves Roux Jr. expressed concerns about the legitimacy of the trial and decried what they assert is a lack of justice. 

While the jury was told about Robbins’ life as a father and grandfather, the family said Roux was “not allowed to be humanized in any way.”

“[The jury was] never told that Yvie was the father of four small children that he will never get the chance to know as adults,” the family wrote. “That he wasn’t a grandfather because his life was taken from him way before he would ever get the chance to experience that joy.”

The family also disputed the defense’s account of events, arguing that Roux didn’t box in Robbins and that “Yvie was not out to hurt anyone that morning.”

“He was just trying to go to work to provide for his children,” the family wrote. “Anyone that knew Yvie knew he had a contagious smile. He would never hurt anyone. He would be there to help you if you needed him.”

The family also expressed frustration that Robbins’ past contacts with law enforcement were not discussed during the trial.

Beth Stone, the director of communications for the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, described Roux’s death as tragic.

“David Robbins was indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge and we moved forward with the case against him,” Stone said. “This was a lengthy trial where jurors deliberated over days. While we are disappointed with the verdict, we respect the work and attention that jurors put into this trial.”

As of 2 p.m. on Oct. 19, this article has been updated to reflect the length of the jury’s deliberation (nine hours), and to include comment from the defense, prosecution and victim’s family.