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Columbia Waffle House restaurant murder trial begins today

Columbia Waffle House restaurant murder trial begins today

52-year-old Leo Barry Robinson Jr. of Columbia is charged with second degree murder (undated photo courtesy of the Boone County Sheriff Department website)

Jury selection is scheduled to begin this morning at the Boone County Courthouse for a Columbia man charged with killing a man at the Waffle House on Vandiver in 2021.

939 the Eagle News was at the courthouse on Monday morning for 52-year-old Leo Robinson’s pre-trial conference. He’s charged with second degree murder and two other felonies for the March 2021 killing of Reginald Ball outside Waffle House. The Columbia Police Department’s probable cause statement says Ball was shot three times during an argument, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Robinson sat handcuffed at the defense table on Monday, seated between defense attorneys Daniel Hickman and Kevin O’Brien. Robinson will be in civilian clothes this morning, when 65 prospective jurors enter the courtroom at 9 am. Boone County Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs expects jury selection to take about two-and-a-half hours, with opening statements after that. Boone County assistant prosecutor Anthony Gonzalez and defense attorney Hickman expect a two-day trial. Judge Jacobs notes it could go into Friday.

Mr. Gonzalez tells Judge Jacobs that two members of Reginald Ball’s family will be attending the trial, and that one of them may testify.