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US will not pursue charges in US tourist death in Mexico

(NewsNation) —  U.S. officials announced Wednesday they will not pursue charges against the person suspected of killing a Charlotte-area woman vacationing in Mexico last year.

Shanquella Robinson was killed while vacationing in Mexico in October of 2022. She was seen being beaten in a viral video at a resort development in San Jose del Cabo.

Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release that the available evidence and autopsy results do not support a federal prosecution.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Sue-Ann Robinson issued a statement in response, calling into question “discrepancies” in the autopsy reports.

“There are U.S. and Mexican autopsy reports which show a difference in findings,” the attorneys said. “These discrepancies can be credited to the delay in investigation by U.S. officials, who conducted a second autopsy once Shanquella’s body was embalmed. When an investigation is delayed, the hard evidence to support prosecution diminishes, but in this case, that is due to the U.S. not considering this case to be a high priority.”

According to Mexican prosecutors, the statement reads, one of Robinson’s friends was the direct aggressor of her death.

The statement said friends of Robinson initially claimed that her cause of death was alcohol poisoning, but an autopsy from Mexican authorities in the days following her death revealed that it was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation.”

According to the Charlotte Observer, it is unclear how or if this will impact the requested extradition of the traveling companion Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant for last year.

John C. Barnett, a civil rights activist working with the family of Robinson, believes she was killed because of “jealousy.”

“What you’re looking at is like a Jesus and Judas situation, some jealous friends,” Barnett said on “CUOMO.” “She paid for the majority of the trip from my understanding. She booked the villa and wanted her six friends to go and celebrate with her.”

Robinson and her friends had rented a villa to celebrate a birthday and supposedly didn’t go out the night she died.

A video that surfaced after her death shows how she was punched numerous times in the face and head before being thrown to the ground by her neck. She is then punched and kicked a few more times.

“While it is discouraging for the loved ones of Shanquella that their own Department of Justice will not be pursuing charges against Shanquella’s aggressor, it is our stance that justice is still possible for her death,” the attorneys’ statement said. “We hope that there is still a chance at justice in Mexico. Mexican prosecutors have issued arrest warrants in this case and are willing to pursue charges. We strongly encourage The United States to move forward with the extradition of those responsible for her death to Mexico to face accountability there.”

Tyler Wornell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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