U.S. officials in North Carolina will not federally prosecute the person suspected of killing a Charlotte-area woman vacationing in Mexico last year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors say they have presented the findings of their investigation to the family of Shanquella Robinson, who was seen being beaten in a viral video last fall at a resort development in San Jose del Cabo.
As the video circulated on social media, it raised suspicions that Robinson may have been killed by her travel companions.
Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release Wednesday that the available evidence and autopsy results do not support a federal prosecution.
Investigators could not prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that a federal crime was committed, the release said.
Shanquella Robinson, 25, was killed during a trip to Mexico with friends in late October 2022
An autopsy was conducted in North Carolina by the Mecklenburg County medical examiner’s office.
Local prosecutors in the state of Baja California Sur filed charges late last year against the U.S. woman – whom they would not name – suspected of killing Robinson on Oct 29.
They issued an arrest warrant for the suspect, who had already left Mexico with other travel companions after Robinson was found dead in a rented villa.
Mexican federal prosecutors are trying to get her extradited to face charges in Mexico.
Sue-Ann Robinson, the family’s attorney, said at a news conference Wednesday in Charlotte that the U.S. autopsy results, which have not been released publicly, revealed inconsistencies with a previous autopsy conducted in Mexico, which had labeled the cause of death a severe spinal cord or neck injury.
She criticized federal officials for the speed at which they conducted their investigation, saying people on social media should not have had to ‘create the movement behind the case.’
‘United States citizens cannot go to Mexico, commit a crime that we all saw on video and then come back to America and say, ‘We’re on base. We’re safe. We’re not going to be charged with a crime,” she said.
‘That cannot be the message that U.S. authorities want to send.’
Federal officials say they will review and examine any new information that becomes available.
Last month, Robinson’s family attorneys called on U.S. president Joe Biden to have the alleged murderer, who has now been named by the family, extradited to Mexico.
Mexican authorities currently have an arrest warrant out for Daejhanae Jackson, 26, in relation to the October 2022 death of Robinson.
Salamondra Robinson (right) and another family member of Robinson remain distraught and are searching for answers about the young woman’s death
Shanquella was caught on video laughing with her travel companions the day prior to her untimely passing
In a letter addressed to Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, attorneys for the Robinson family requested immediate diplomatic intervention on the transnational case.
Jackson was identified as the woman seen in a video brutally attacking Robinson inside the villa that a group of friends had rented in Cabo for one of their birthdays.
Though the family and the letter identified Jackson as the primary suspect in their daughter’s death, the suspect’s identity has not yet been made public by police.
‘An autopsy report prepared on October 30th, 2022 in Mexico by Medical Examiner Dr. Rene Adalberto Galvaan Osegura noted that Shanquella’s body had a head injury 3 and concluded that Shanquella’s cause of death was a broken neck,’ said the letter.
‘The President or the Secretary of State must step in and ask: for the extradition of the suspect or suspects or concurrent jurisdiction and file charges in the United States,’ said attorneys Benjamin Clump and Sue-Ann Robinson – who is not related to the victim.
The letter explained that Jackson and two other people on the trip took Robinson’s luggage back to her home in Charlotte, North Carolina and delivered their condolences to Robinson’s mother, telling her that her child had died of alcohol poisoning.
Robinson’s attack in Mexico was filmed while she was naked in a bedroom.
The 25-year-old attempts to get away from her attacker and replies ‘no’ – before the woman slams her to the floor next to the bed.
The woman then punches and knees her in the head before yelling at Robinson: ‘Get up, I’m tired of the s***.’
A representative for Villa Linda 32, the property where the group was staying, told WJZY that the concierge contacted a doctor who attempted to revive Robinson.
She was declared dead at 3pm local time, reportedly about 15 minutes after she was beaten.
After the video became public in November, a femicide investigation was launched in Mexico.
Attorneys for the Robinsons are now asking the Biden administration to step in and assist with it.
The 18-page letter received by the Biden administration said that Jackson had been the primary point of contact for the group’s seven travel companions.
Robinson, according to the letter, ‘did not seem to fit in with the others’ and seemed ‘out of place’ the day before a call was placed to her mother that she had suffered alcohol poisoning in the room.
The letter also includes, according to a Fox News report, that a hotel staff witness identified Jackson as the aggressor in the video.
The witness added that Jackson ‘manipulated me’ with information she provided at the scene of the crime in order to ‘leave the country as soon as possible.’
Robinson’s mother was initially told that her daughter died of alcohol poisoning
A video posted online shows Robinson being brutally beaten by an individual who was later identified as Daejhanae Jackson
Ben Crump and attorney Sue-Ann Robinson of Frontline Law hold a news conference to demand diplomatic intervention to prioritize justice for Robinson’s death. Robinson was killed in October while vacationing in Mexico
Attorney Sue-Ann Robinson during the presser. According to Mexican prosecutors, one of Robinson’s friends was the direct aggressor of her death. Initially, friends of Robinson claimed that her cause of death was alcohol poisoning, but an autopsy revealed that it was ‘severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation’
Robinson was declared dead after two sets of medical professionals responded to the scene over the course of several hours.
One staff member said that Jackson gave him an ‘indifferent’ hug when he offered his condolences and claimed he later heard ‘laughing’ from the room after he walked out in order to give the group space.
The next day, the group departed the hotel and Jackson did not respond to a text message from a staffer asking where she was until October 31, when she informed the staffer that the group had gone home, according to the witness statement.
‘If a United State citizen commits homicide in Mexico and returns back to the United States, as you are aware they can face criminal charges in the United States under federal law or state law, depending on the circumstances of the crime,’ read the letter.
‘Federal charges are brought in cases where the crime involves interstate commerce or federal law enforcement agencies.
‘We know in a transnational case where evidence was possibly transported and persons of interest communicated with each other via cellphone federal charges could be brought against those responsible for Shanquella’s death,’ it continued.
The letter went on to say that the family has come across ‘numerous obstacles’ in attempting to get information, including during a subsequent trip to Mexico on which Sue-Ann Robinson said the US consulate suggested that relatives should reach out directly to the individuals Robinson was traveling with for answers.
‘Certainly this is an unacceptable response to share with an American family in regards to their daughter’s murder,’ said Sue-Ann Robinson.
Fox reported that the State Department said it has ‘no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas but does not comment on American citizens’ private correspondence as a general matter of privacy.’
‘The Department does not provide confirmation of, or commentary on, investigations due to privacy and law enforcement considerations. Also, as a matter of long-standing practice, the Department also does not comment on extradition matters.’
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