19-Year-Old On Trial for Murder Won't Talk to Jury

Her lead attorney called it a 'monumentally bad decision.'

Despite the advice of her attorney, Monique Robinson, the 19-year-old Phoenixville woman on trial for her role in the 2011 murder of a man on Prospect Street, declined to testify on Wednesday, The Phoenix is reporting.

“This is over my strong objection,” Robsinon lead attorney Robert Donatoni told the judge after his client refused to speak on her own behalf, the paper reported. “Against my strong recommendation. This is a monumentally bad decision.”

Several members of Robinson’s family were in attendance at day three of the trial, according to the paper, and one was overheard dissuading her from giving testimony, telling her she didn’t “have to prove anything.”

Robinson faces charges of first-, second- and third-degree murder stemming from her role in the September 2011 shooting death of Selvin Lopez-Mauricio, as well as additional charges of robbery and conspiracy. Prosecutors allege Robinson helped plan the robbery that led to Lopez-Mauricio’s death, and provided the murder weapon.

According to The Phoenix, on Thursday, both the prosecution and the defense will present their closing arguments. Read the full story here.

Previous Phoenixville Patch Coverage of the Case

  • Shooter in Phoenixville Murder Says Robinson Told Him to Pull Trigger
  • Phoenixville Teen Heads to Trial for 2011 Murder
  • Gunman Pleads Guilty to Murder of Phoenixville Man
  • Murder Defendant Appears in District Court on Drug Charges
  • Preliminary Hearing Held for Robinson on Murder Charges
  • Police: Unknown Where Robinson Was Hiding
  • Breaking: Third Phoenixville Murder Suspect Turns Herself In
  • Report: Murder Suspect Robinson May Be in North Philly
  • Police: Alleged Shooter Had Drugs at Time of Arrest
  • Chief: Black Bag Is Key to Murder Investigation
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 04, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Yeah, that's right, listen to your family because they know more then your lawyers and judge do right? Personally I feel you need to be punished, its a shame your so damn young and will never enjoy a free life again EVER!!! I pray your story and tragic outcome is heard and read by every teenager who thinks they know it all and they learn from this !! So sad, what a waste of too many lives in this story!!
Area Patch Reader April 04, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Why hire a laywer and then not take their advice? Is is so scared of the cross examanation that she won't even attempt to defend herself on the stand? I have to say that Donatoni covering his butt by basically criticizing his own client in open court wasn't a great move either but I guess he doesn't want to be blamed if she tries to appeal later (plus I'm sure he was already paid upfront as these types never work with poor families until AFTER the check clears). Sad situation all around.
hacker70 April 04, 2013 at 02:45 PM
I doubt if she's paying for the lawyer- probably taxpayers.
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 04, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Would like to think that she is showing remorse and is accepting of whatever the judge and jury give her as punishment for her crime. As far as payment, I seriously doubt she or anyone in her family is paying for her lawyers, I honestly believe this is falling back on the taxpayers, the same ones that will be paying to house her for the next 50 plus years ( prob much more then 50)...I do believe it was a smart thing for her lawyer to do by saying in court that he is against her NOT going on the stand, she can't come back 20 years from now and say.."she didn't know"....I just feel bad this child chose this path in life, its so damn sad!! So sad!!!
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 04, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Did they ever find the gun used or is it still out there on the streets?
Area Patch Reader April 04, 2013 at 03:33 PM
There are only two types of lawyers that defend people in criminal cases. Private "fee for service" lawyers and public defenders for those who can not afford to pay for a private attorney. Robert Donatoni is a PRIVATE lawyer. This means unless he took this case on pro bono, he is being paid by the girl and/or her family and either case not by the "taxpayers". It's sad many people don't have even the most basic grasp of our legal system or basic civics.
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 04, 2013 at 03:44 PM
PRIVATE lawyers can be appointed by the court to represent aka do a pro bono can they not? I seriously don't know and I am asking a legit question. "Most basic grasp of our legal system" ?? Some of us have never been in front of a judge or even in a court room...so how would we know? I am truly shocked tho, I am sure this lawyer (s) fee is not pennies and dollars, I am shocked the family has that kind of money, and if so, maybe they paid to have her in hiding all those months???
Area Patch Reader April 04, 2013 at 04:31 PM
No a private for profit lawyer can NOT be forced to represent anyone. If you can't afford a private lawyer, you get appointed a public defender as is your right under the law. A private lawyer can choose to take a case "pro bono" (i.e. free of charge) but again the "taxpayers" don't pay a dime for this. The fact is their daughter, granddaughter, etc...is facing a long prison sentence so maybe took out a mortgage of their home to pay for the lawyer. Who knows and why do you care? The main point is that they did pay this man to represent her and she has decided to go directly against his advise, which seems wasteful and foolish to me. In any event, it's not really my concern nor do I have the time or interest in teaching you "civics 101". I suggest you check out the offerings at the local community colleges. Good day to you.
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 04, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Ummmmm area patch reader, you made it your concern when you felt the need to reply to a previous comment. Don't. Make replies if you don't want a "civil reply" / question...I do not need you teaching me Civics 101, it was a question back to you on your statement. And as a taxpayer in PA I believe I have a right to know if my taxes are paying for a criminals defense. Also, her family also told her NOT to testify...crazy just crazy....and above all SAD AS HELL! Good Day to you too Sir !
David P. April 04, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Boy, some of you guys aren't bright at all and jump to conclusions without knowing anything. She retained Mr. Donatoni, who is a private attorney, as soon as she turned herself in and he's been her lawyer ever since. That said, do some research before you come on here making assumptions about something you clearly know nothing about.
David P. April 04, 2013 at 06:10 PM
In fact, she retained Mr. Donatoni before she even turned herself in and Mr. Donatoni is the one who contacted authorities and told them that Monique was ready to turn herself in. Clearly, either Monique or a relative is paying for her defense, not taxpayers, and of those of you who love making assumptions had followed the case the entire time, you would know this because it was made public.
Area Patch Reader April 04, 2013 at 07:42 PM
As I suggested, many of these people were failed by our public school system and don't have even a basic grasp of the laws of our society. The one goof said they had never been arrested or to court so therefore had no reason to understand the law....sigh!
harry finster April 04, 2013 at 08:00 PM
you can tell who went to phoenixville high school, they dont know anything about anything, they only believe propaganda ,willing dupes
hacker70 April 05, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Well Patch Reader- since you're such an expert- There are PRIVATE attorneys who agree to be on a list to be court appointed to defend indigants for a fee paid for by the county. Pay depends on the charge- Suggest you review Civics 102 know it all cause you don't know what you're talking about-
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 05, 2013 at 02:22 AM
You can tell who are the "behind the keyboard bullies" too!! ...Thank You Hacker 70....and Obviously Patch Reader is not all to familiar with the family or he would know why people questioned the status of her lawyers...to say it nicely and kindly, they are not a family of wealth. And I don't know what school the Reader went to, but in my public school we were not taught these things...
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 05, 2013 at 02:28 AM
P.S. I am not a "goof" either !! But if calling people names and mocking them because they don't know how to be a criminal or defendant makes you feel so superior then go ahead, have fun. My children went to private schools from Kindg to 12th. They weren't taught these civics as you have laid them out for us. Could it be you are wrong? Jury came back rather quickly, AP wire says Monique was found guilty.
harry finster April 05, 2013 at 04:01 AM
good another phoenixville person where they belong in jail
Ike April 05, 2013 at 09:54 AM
How do you know who got money? Maybe someone has a great job. This is a shame for someone so young .But most for the one who lost his life.
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 05, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Your exactly right Ike. We as a society often spend too much time discussing and giving the spot light to the criminals, we forget or simply ignore the fact there is a victim here. A young man, lost his life over $300 !!! These three thugs took this mans life over a backpack (which they knew none of the contents until afterwards) which could have contained nothing of value. We live in sad times, especially when a young group of jerks, set out to "roll a mexican" as a source of enjoyment!! Heartbreaking!!!
Compassionate Conservative April 05, 2013 at 01:52 PM
She will regret not taking the plea deal that would've given her 30 to 60 years in jail. Pennsylvania’s mandatory minimum sentencing provisions dictate life imprisonment for Monique. 18 Pa. C.S. §1102(b) Second degree.--Except as provided under section 1102.1, a person who has been convicted of murder of the second degree, of second degree murder of an unborn child or of second degree murder of a law enforcement officer shall be sentenced to a term of life imprisonment. 18 Pa. C.S. §2502(b) Murder of the second degree.--A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when it is committed while defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony.
Nicole Tudor April 05, 2013 at 10:29 PM
A life sentence all for $300 & a Cheeseburger.
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 07, 2013 at 05:54 AM
I wonder how the family feels now for encouraging her not to take the stand? Once again they led this child down the wrong path in life!! When will society ever learn? Children are running a muck and a lot of it can be halted by PARENTING !!!! I understand parents have to work, I am talking about the parents who do nothing but suck the world dry and do nothing to make it a better place..let their children run the streets as much as they run their mouths. The ones who have no accountability, and made a carrer of having "govt paycheck babies". The ones who have 6 babies with 6 different guys. Our children are suffering folks! They are the leaders of tomorrow!! Are you scared ? I am !
harry finster April 07, 2013 at 06:57 PM
i am not scared i moved away and leave you people in the mire
Used to live in the Ville,,,,, April 08, 2013 at 12:27 PM
See Harry, you don't even read the entire comments as they are written, your just here to make an ass out of yourself. Your not scared, you moved away and leave you people in the mire...what does that mean Harry? Did you move to another planet? A place where there are no youth growing up? My comment on todays youth and society is world wide, not just Phoenixville. Let me also remind you, I moved out of Phoenixville many years ago not because of the town, but because of a career change, and even out here we too have problems with today's youth and drugs and kids raising kids and shootings..sadly this is happening all over the country.
harry finster April 08, 2013 at 03:37 PM
thats bs ,certain places have much more trouble than others ,i bet if you ran statistics for the boro of phoenixville you would find a relatively high drug and crime rate
harry finster April 08, 2013 at 03:42 PM
also low quality public school


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