Ex-Con Charged with Manslaughter in Football Star's Death

Cory Robinson was charged with manslaughter in Derrick Mitchell's death. - COURTESY ST. LOUIS CORRECTIONS
Cory Robinson was charged with manslaughter in Derrick Mitchell's death.

A St. Louis man with a long criminal record has been charged with manslaughter after a high-speed car crash that killed a former standout football player from Vashon High School.

Cory Robinson, 35, was driving a Dodge Challenger on October 4, speeding along North Broadway when he tried to pass 24-year-old Derrick Mitchell Jr., police say. Robinson clipped Mitchell's rear bumper, sending the former running back's vehicle careening into oncoming traffic, where he was hit by another car, police say.

Mitchell, who suffered a ruptured aorta, was taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital, where he hung on for three days before he died on October 7. After Vashon, he had played college football at the University of Iowa.

Police say the fatal crash was caught on surveillance video, and they found the abandoned Dodge a few blocks away. Inside the car, they discovered paperwork belonging to Robinson. An analysis of the Challenger's vehicle recorder data showed it had been going 70 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone, according to charging documents filed on Monday.

Police believe the ex-con fled the scene on foot. A witness told investigators they saw him outside the Dodge shortly after the wreck, and police say Robinson told another person he had banged up the Challenger while trying to pass someone that night.

Robinson's record includes convictions for weapons possession, assault and drugs. A month after the crash that killed Mitchell, he was arrested on robbery charges following a high-speed chase. Police say he forced his way into a woman's home in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood on November 10, pushed her down and fired into the floor.

The woman told police he grabbed her TV and iPhone and threatened to kill her if she didn't let him leave. She provided investigators with his license plate number, and officers found a bullet hole in the floor along with a 9mm shell casing. 

A police officer later spotted Robinson and wrote in his report that the 35-year-old sped off when he tried to pull him over. He drove at speeds of 70 to 80 mph, cutting through traffic before he crashed in a cemetery, police say.

Robinson reportedly admitted taking the TV when they caught him, but he denied stealing it or using a gun. According to a probable cause statement, he admitted fleeing police was "stupid."

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