Coroner: Case of man who died in JPSO custody ruled homicide

Published: May. 13, 2018 at 7:41 PM CDT|Updated: May. 14, 2018 at 11:17 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office revealed the death of a man who was in JPSO custody last week is now being ruled a homicide.

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Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich and Sheriff Joe Lopinto held a press conference at 10 a.m. to discuss the preliminary findings of the autopsy of 22-year-old Keevaen Robinson.

Robinson died following a pursuit with JPSO deputies Thursday.

According to the coroner, Robinson suffered "significant, traumatic injuries" to his neck.

Sheriff Lopinto issued the following statement regarding the investigation:

On Thursday May 10, following the pursuit, arrest, and subsequent death of Keeven Robinson, I informed the public of the details of this investigation known to me at that time.  I stated that the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office would perform an autopsy and that I would order the necessary follow-up investigatory actions based on the findings of the autopsy.

On Saturday May 12, Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich’s staff conducted the autopsy.  Dr. Cvitanovich advised me that Keeven Robinson’s death was to be classified as a homicide based on the fact that Robinson's death was caused by another.  This initial medical classification does not take into account whether the homicide was an intentional act, accidental act, or an act incidental to a law enforcement action.

Upon learning this information, I ordered all JPSO personnel who were involved in the matter to immediately report to the JPSO Detective Bureau for follow-up to the investigation.

I contacted Louisiana State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves to request that he assign his Bureau of Investigation to assist the Sheriff’s Office in this investigation.  Colonel Reeves agreed to participate in the case, and several State Police Investigators responded immediately. The two agencies joined together to continue the investigation.

I also contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Civil Rights Task Force. The FBI committed to also join in the investigation. 

This incident investigation started on May 10, continues today, and will continue until the completed case report is finalized and presented to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office for its review.

Sheriff  Lopinto said the officers involved in the incident will be reassigned to administrative duty until the investigation is complete.

Robinson's family has stated that they plan to have an independent autopsy done.

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