Suspect in killing of 8-year-old requests public defender

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comApril 25, 2014 

Tyrone Robinson, 38, left, one of three men accused of the murder of 8-year-old Khalil Singleton, speaks with public defender Arie Bax on Sept. 23, 2014, at the Beaufort County Courthouse after the trial was continued due to the introduction new evidence.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Staff photo Buy Photo

One of three men charged with the 2012 murder of an 8-year-old Hilton Head Island boy will no longer represent himself in court.

On Friday, Tyrone Robinson asked that Arie Bax, the public defender who had been assisting him in court this week, take over his case.

Robinson, 38, had planned to represent himself in the case being heard by Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper. The judge postponed the trial Wednesday after new evidence surfaced. During a short hearing Friday, Robinson requested that Bax represent him, according to 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office spokesman Daniel Brownstein.

Robinson, Aaron Young Sr., 37, and Aaron Young Jr., 20, are charged with murder in the Sept. 1, 2012, shooting death of Khalil Singleton. Singleton was shot in the torso as he played outside his grandmother's Allen Road home as the Youngs and Robinson exchanged gunfire, authorities have said.

Robinson had represented himself throughout his pretrial proceedings, including a bond hearing in September 2012 when Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen urged him to use a public defender.

On Friday, Cooper and Robinson also discussed a possible September date for Robinson's trial, which would be two full years after Singleton's death. The three men will be tried separately after Cooper ruled Wednesday in favor of a motion to sever the cases.

Brownstein said a Sept. 16 date was suggested by Cooper because he will be in Beaufort County Circuit Court that week. Circuit Court judges rotate to different counties each month, typically spending a week conducting sessions in each one.

It was unclear how the September date would affect the other two suspects. Brownstein declined to comment on whether any dates had been proposed for them.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.

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