ST. LOUIS – The family of St. Louis athlete and coach Derrick Mitchell, 24, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2019, confronted the man in court on Thursday. They had something they wanted him to see.
“I wanted him to see his face,” said Marie Mitchell, Derrick’s mother.
His brother and sister held up a souvenir blanket with the image of Derrick on it, inside the courtroom as Derrick’s parents spoke directly to the defendant, Coy Robinson, 37.
Robinson had just pleaded guilty to manslaughter, armed criminal action and leaving the scene, to the October 2019 accident that killed Mitchell.
“Derrick was an incredible, incredible man. I wanted him to see my son’s face; what he took from us. I needed him to see that, ”said Marie Mitchell.
His son was a Vashon High School graduate and athlete who played college football in Iowa, then came home to raise his now 4-year-old son, Derrick Mitchell III (family calls him “D3” ) and to be an assistant football coach. at Miller Career Academy High School.
“A lot of these young men said he was a father figure,” Mitchell’s aunt Geralding Fleming said. “He was like a big brother. He didn’t just take care of them on the football field.
He was on his way to work the morning of the accident.
Robinson admits to swerving in oncoming traffic to pass Mitchell on North Broadway near Christian in the St. Louis’s Baden neighborhood; hitting Mitchell’s vehicle in the process and knocking it over in oncoming traffic where Mitchell was struck by another car. Robinson’s data logger shows he was traveling at nearly 70 mph. The speed limit is 35 mph.
Mitchell suffered a ruptured aorta. His father told Robinson he fought bravely in a hospital, suffering 8 strokes before dying a few days after the accident.
Court records show Robinson pleaded guilty in 2017 to weapons, resistance to arrest and assault on law enforcement charges stemming from another incident. He was sentenced to 10 years, but Judge Elizabeth Hogan suspended the sentence and gave Robinson 3 years probation, which he was serving at the time of the accident.
He was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his guilty pleas on Thursday.
Mitchell’s family are unhappy that Judge David Mason ordered the 8 years to be served along with the 10 years in the previous case.
With early release Robinson could be free in less than 4 years, his lawyer said.
“For my son’s life, it’s just not enough, just not enough,” said Marie Mitchell.
“Our lives are irreparably shattered,” Mitchell’s father told Robinson in tears.
When Robinson told the judge he was sorry for his actions, the judge told him to look at Mitchell’s family and tell them, what he did.
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