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UPDATE: Columbia Waffle House suspect sentenced to ten years in prison

UPDATE: Columbia Waffle House suspect sentenced to ten years in prison

52-year-old Leo Robinson has been sentenced to ten years in state prison (2021 mug shot courtesy of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department website)

A Columbia man who was acquitted of murdering a man outside the Waffle House on Vandiver has been sentenced to the maximum of ten years in prison, because he’s a felon who had an illegal gun.

52-year-old Leo Robinson was sentenced at the Boone County Courthouse early Tuesday afternoon by Judge Brouck Jacobs.

939 the Eagle was in the courtroom for the emotional hearing. Robinson tells the court that he had the illegal gun to protect himself, comparing it to a jack you keep in your vehicle for a flat tire. Robinson testifies there was a home invasion at his house on Columbia’s Native Dancer and that he needed the weapon. The judge counters that felons can’t possess firearms under the law. Boone County assistant prosecutor Anthony Gonzalez says Robinson is a convicted felon who’s served prison time and didn’t learn his lesson.

Robinson will get credit for time served, which is about two-and-a-half years. Robinson killed Reginald Ball in March 2021 outside Waffle House in self-defense, according to defense attorney Daniel Hickman.


A Columbia man who was acquitted of murder in a 2021 death outside the Waffle House on Vandiver is scheduled to be sentenced this (Monday) morning for unlawful possession of a firearm. That’s because 52-year-old Leo Robinson is a convicted felon.

A jury deliberated for more than two hours on July 6 before acquitting Robinson of second degree murder and armed criminal action.

Robinson’s attorneys, Daniel Hickman and Kevin O’Brien, both argued self-defense at trial. Counselor Hickman has filed a motion for a new trial, which Boone County assistant prosecutor Anthony Gonzalez opposes. Boone County Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs is expected to take that motion up at the 9 am sentencing hearing.

Our news partner KMIZ reports Robinson’s ex-girlfriend, who testified for the prosecution at the trial, contradicted herself multiple times during her testimony. The ex-girlfriend was driving the vehicle that Reginald Ball arrived in at Waffle House. KMIZ quotes the ex-girlfriend as testifying that the three people inside the car had been drinking heavily and that they had smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

KMIZ also reported that the defense played video for the jury of Robinson approaching the car in the Waffle House lot and then back up slowly toward his car with his hands up. The defense told the jury that when Ball walked toward Robinson’s car, Robinson shot him in self-defense.

The incident happened during heavy rain, according to testimony from Columbia Police. Testimony at trial indicated that some evidence may have washed away, due to heavy rainfall.