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Posted on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

Michigan football player accused in dorm room theft 'didn't intend to steal anything,' attorney says

By Lee Higgins

Michigan safety Marvin Robinson, who is accused of breaking into a dorm room on campus and stealing an Xbox in September, "didn't intend to steal anything," his attorney, Gerry Mason, said this afternoon.

"There's no intent to steal or permanently deprive someone of personal property," Mason said during an interview at 14A District Court, shortly after Judge Charles Pope adjourned the case against Robinson until January.

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Marvin Robinson

Robinson, 20, a sophomore backup safety from Winter Haven, Fla., is charged with second-degree home invasion.

University of Michigan police said Robinson is accused of entering a room at West Quadrangle dormitory between 12:30 and 10 p.m. Sept. 29 and stealing an Xbox, along with a game. A 20-year-old student reported to police that he believes he left the room locked when the items were stolen. University police spokeswoman Diane Brown said investigators found no signs of forced entry. Police said a computer investigation revealed that the Xbox had been used at another location and that's what led investigators to Robinson.

Robinson was arraigned on the charge last week and was released on a promise to appear. This afternoon, Mason provided Judge Pope with a form Robinson signed, waiving his right to a preliminary hearing within 14 days. Pope waived Robinson's appearance today and agreed to adjourn the preliminary hearing until Jan. 11 at 1 p.m.

At that hearing, prosecutors must show there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that Robinson committed it.

Mason said Robinson already has an Xbox. In fact, he has two, Mason said. The student who reported the theft is an acquaintance of Robinson's, and Robinson has been in his room on "various occasions," Mason said. They trade Xboxes, he said. Mason, a U-M graduate, said it's not uncommon for a student to go into another student's room.

"I lived in Michigan dorms and I used to walk into my room and find people sitting there, watching TV," he said.

Robinson is going to cooperate with university police and Washtenaw County prosecutors, Mason said, adding that Robinson has no criminal record.

"He goes to class," he said. "He goes to study hall. He goes to practice. And he goes to church every Sunday with his mom and dad."

Mason said he could not speak about Robinson's status with the team, and would leave that to the university.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke said in a statement last week, "We will let the legal process run its course and we will not have any further comment until that time."

Robinson had nine tackles in five games and started against Notre Dame. He did not travel with the team to Iowa or Illinois, which Hoke said was because of an undisclosed injury.

If convicted, Robinson faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Lee Higgins is a reporter for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:39 a.m.

Maybe it is that some games are registered to a certain XBox, that is if you want to play a certain saved game it needs to be on a particular XBox. That way you can build and build up a charactor? I am sure some gamer could explain this?


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:05 a.m.

I wonder if Mr. Robinson has permission to leave the state while on bond?


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Is it just me that's upset with the fact that time resources were wasted on a computer tracing and an investigation to trace AN XBOX that disappeared from an unlocked dorm room? This is absolutely absurd. If this "case" is worth a full on investigation, then I'd like some help finding my keys. Sorry you can't find your Xbox kid, but take some responsibility.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:03 a.m.

If someone enters your residence without your permission, wouldn't you want an investigation?

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

A weak defense. If it were true, the owner would be saying. "Oh......, it was Marvin. Never mind." But apparently the owner has not done so, at least not yet. It would take the owner concurring with Mr. Mason's scheme to make it work. If Mr. Robinson has access to the victim's belongings at will based on an agreement with the owner, obviously there would be no case here. The police should have closed that hole before they swooped in and recovered the property. Maybe they did. They could have simply asked Mr. Robinson if he has a stray xbox lying around and see what he says. His response would be quite telling. You always have to think about what defense may be applied to a case and make sure you tie up the loose ends before the case goes to prosecution. You have to establish the intent. Also that way you do not put an innocent person in a court room. If it were so easy to dodge a charge by simply saying, "I was going to give it back," we would have no theft trials at all.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

There doesn't seem to be enough information at this point to make a judgment. The legal process should be able to work this out, and I think Hoke is correct in waiting for that. My only worry is that the hearing was delayed due his status as a football player, which I think would be inappropriate.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

a) we're not supposed to be making a judgement because that is what courts are for b) the only thing that delaying this hearing will do is keep the young man, if found innocent, from playing football this season -- delay is not in his interest.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

this is kind of silly, if they are acquaintances than there will be a number of people who will say that they spent time with them or know of them hanging out or playing games together. Texting? facebook? do they have a history of that? Every boy (and man) I know that is into gaming trades games back and forth constantly or one guy will buy one platform, someone else another and trade those back and forth. If it was done malicisiously than I would say probation (certainly not 15 years, that is silly) If this went to trial I think most people would roll their eyes at this and side to his favor. I am glad a hardworking football player spends his free time relaxing and playing video games instead of getting drunk, partying and doing truely stupid things. also, I will mention that it use to be more that football players were poor students, now they all have an excellent opprotunity to go to an excellent school, football could end tomorrow, not all make it to the pro level, they better have something to fall back on and it seems a lot more know that now and take it seriously than those that do not. also glad this young man goes to chruch with his family


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

Must have missed that part in the bible that says go forth and borrow someones X box without asking. Or is it an Ann Arbor version?

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

Ok so games are traded back and forth, that makes sense. But how common is it for a gamer to go to another gamer's residence and take the box, leaving that gamer without the ability to play games? And why would one take a box when they have two already? I don't game and I do not have one of these, but if I got one, am I supposed to plan on someday it will disappear after one of my game buddies stops by?

Stephen Landes

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

trespass even football players need to have a little mental down time now and again. maybe you don't remember what it is like to go to college and work a full time job simultaneously.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

I am glad such a hard working football player is playing on his X-box instead of studying. He must have an excellent grade point average.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

This is a non-story. Apparently the whole thing was a mis-understanding. The "victim" came home, couldn't find his X-Box, and reported it to the police. Charges should have been dropped by this overzealous DA.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:02 a.m.

Can you read the victim's mind?

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

If it were a mis understanding it would be over by now.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

He couldn't find his X-Box because someone entered his room and removed it without his permission. That's called a crime.

Ron Granger

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Great job by the police in tracking the xbox over the network! One wonders whether this "borrowed" gear would have otherwise remained forever "borrowed". Apparently the person whose property was "borrowed" considered it a theft. Maybe he's not a football fan? Does Robinson live in that dorm? On that floor? On that hall? The "fast and loose" borrowing practices described by his attorney do happen, but I've never heard of the police needing to be called. Borrowing by "acquaintances" is typically frowned upon. Did he say why he didn't leave a note? A phone msg? A txt? How much time elapsed between the "borrowing" on sept 29 and the recovery by police?

Jim Osborn

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

When I first read this, I thought, "throw the book at him" The original article said "Home invasion. I thought that someone had invaded a single family home and tied people up. But upon reading further, it was an unoccupied dorm room. Burglary, maybe. Now, they are not even sure that he was in the room w/o the "owners" permission. All they have is Internet usage of an X-box. 15 years? It seems a bit much This whole thing smacks of an over-reaching prosecutor, or more likely, poor reporting a few days ago. I've noticed that the original story has been changed. Is all this because he is on the football team? 15 years for a dorm room? How about 15 weeks?

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

I was not aware Luge, that UM did that in the dorms. The outside doors are always locked but did they change the room doors so they are locked all the time also? I know WMU did it years ago, but the last I knew, UM only did it on the exterior doors. If the victim's door was locked that opens up a whole lotta questions on how Mr. Robinson was able to gain entry into the room.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Home Invasion is what used to be called Burglary or Breaking & Entering. ...and for the sake of accuracy, it is not possible to close a residence hall room door and leave it unlocked. The doors are always locked and must be unlocked by the insertion of a key-card and entry of a PIN. Mr. Mason may be recalling an earlier era when the doors had key-operated deadbolt locks. That is no longer the case.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

This is America. You are innocent until U of M football program can finish covering it up. See you at the Alamo bowl.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

Yeah we just had drunk players throwing stuff through bar windows under Lloyd. Stuff like that, no big deal.

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Under Bo, Mo, and Lloyd that did not happen. Can't speak for RR or BH.

Smart Logic

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

That one made me laugh out loud.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

the door was not locked. no signs of entry. kids borrow all kinds of stuff all the time. i am putting my money on him just borrowing it. got to wounder if the two were friends or had a fight.

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

To borrow something like an xbox, or a laptop is far different from borrowing a pencil. Leave a note maybe? This defense is very common when people get caught. The police should have closed that hole. I think the investigation here is very lacking if the attorney see this defense can work. Another reason the defense is weak is that if it were true, the owner of the Xbox would likely agree and tell the police that Mr. Robinson does have a right to enter his room, take his property without permission and use it until he decides to let the owner know he has it.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 11:09 a.m.

I wonder where he got the other two x-boxes. He must be from a well to do family?

Rabid Wolverine

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

The report never said if they were Xbox or Xbox360's. the original Xbox can be had for $50. That doesn't necessarily mean he came from a well-to-do family...


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

Somehow this is Rich Rod's fault, eh?

John of Saline

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Obviously. Program control and all that. (Yes, I'm kidding.)


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

Like Brady said, we will let the legal process run its course. (He needs him on the team) If the truth sets him free, Great! If he lied he will spend some time in prison. (so be it).


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

And of course.... This is absolutely ridiculous. An Xbox seriously? The fact theres even a possibility for him to go to prison for 15 years is ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder how capable the Washtenaw court system really is. This is ridiculous and you put a dent in an innocent mans career for absolutely no reason.

Joe Kidd

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Look, the 15 years is the maximum time that one can serve for committing a crime. Very few get the max, usually only if they have a significant record of prior offenses as noted in the story.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

And it's also not "whats" your view, it's ok to enter into your house and steal an item valued at 2 or 300 dollars? This is ok why?

Rod Johnson

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

How do you know he's innocent?