Accomplice charged in murder of man in front of his children

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A Minneapolis man was charged with helping James Woodard ambush and kill 32-year-old Divittin Hoskins, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Elbert Robinson Jr, 32, was charged with second-degree murder and aiding an accomplice after the fact. Bail was set at $2 million at his initial appearance Friday and his next court date was set for Aug. 29.

Police officers were called to a shooting at parking area behind the apartments at 1621 Plymouth Ave North at about 8:40 p.m. on July 28 and found Hoskins lying on the pavement. He died a short time later from a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the criminal complaint, witness and the surveillance video from the building indicated that Hoskins was talking with several people, including Robinson, in the parking lot. After Robinson got into his car and drove away, Woodard came to the parking lot from an alley to the south and walked to a garage and hid next to it.

Robinson walked over to Woodard and spoke to him, then walked out of the alley and looked up and down Knox Avenue North before returning to talk to Woodard again, the complaint states. Minutes later, Hoskins drove into a parking slot and several of his pre-teen children ran to greet him. With his children, Hoskins walked slowly to the east and Hoskins walked ahead of them and signaled Woodard.

Woodard then left his concealed position by the garage, removed a handgun from his waist, ran towards Hoskins, aimed the gun at the back of victim's head and fired a round before turning and running southbound back down the alley from where he first came, according to the complaint.

Police interviewed Robinson two days later and he denied that Woodard was at the apartment complex or that he had fired the shots, the complaint states. He was charged with aiding an accomplice based on those misleading statements.

Woodard was charged Aug. 1 with second-degree murder in the shooting.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)