MICHAEL SCHWARTZ FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Dale Robertson, jailed since 2009 as a suspect in 2006 murder, gets hug from lawyer after Bronx jury acquitted him Wednesday.
Jurors rejected DNA evidence Wednesday that linked a Bronx man to a cold-case killing of a pregnant nursing student, acquitting the accused killer after he spent six years behind bars.
Dale Robertson, 37, let out a huge sigh of relief and bear-hugged his lawyers after hearing the verdict in the death of Stacey Inman, who was 24-years-old and two months pregnant when she was murdered in 2006.
The victim’s battered body was foundstuffed in a garbage bag near the Rosewood Playground off the Bronx River Parkway.
He’d been locked up ever since — with his girlfriend standing by him as he rejected a plea offer for 18 years in prison.
“I stayed with him because I believed him!” Robertson’s ecstatic girlfriend, who gave her name only as Jackie, told the Daily News as she waited outside Bronx Supreme Court for Robertson to be released.
Members of the jury said that they did not buy that the DNA evidence on the plastic garbage bag tied Robertson to the sickening slaying.
The trash bag DNA was so-called “high-density low-copy” — a form of evidence recently tossed by a Brooklyn judge because the evidence is not normally accepted by forensic experts.
“The only thing we felt linked him to the crime was the DNA, but that was iffy,” said Raymond Lambright, 68, the jury’s foreman. “We want Ms. Inman’s family to get justice, but not at the price of sending an innocent man to life in prison.”
Prosecutor Christine Scaccia claimed in her closing arguments that the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Robertson overpowered the helpless Inman after learning that he wasn’t the father of her child.
“He wanted that baby to be his,” Scaccia told the jury, “and when it wasn’t, he killed her.”
Jurors also did not believe a NYPD detective’s testimony that Robertson confessed to the killing in an un-taped interview while en route to Central Booking.
“A lot of stuff that the police did just didn’t add up,” said juror Patricia Smith.
“I hope that they find the real killer,” the 57-year-old woman said.