Hearing set in Romeo homicide


CONEJOS — A preliminary hearing has been set at 9 a.m. Sept. 21 for Michael John Robinson, 32, who faces seven counts in connection with the suspected murder of his step-grandfather, James H. Sprouse, 77, sometime between June 3 and 12, 2016.

He is charged with murder in the first degree, two sentence enhancements regarding a crime of violence, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first degree and concealing death.

Class 1 felony first-degree murder is based on the charge that he allegedly intended to cause the death of a person other than himself.

The crime of violence charges accuse Robinson of using an unknown bludgeon during the commission of several criminal activities relating to Sprouse and caused serious bodily injury to the elderly man.

He also allegedly feloniously destroyed, mutilated, concealed, removed or altered physical evidence and treated the remains of Sprouse in a way that would outrage normal family sensibilities.

Robinson is also accused of concealing Sprouse’s death. The body was found April 18 of this year. Sprouse had been reported missing on June 6, 2016 and again on March 10 of this year.

After Sprouse died, Robinson allegedly took the older man’s Ford Explorer out of Colorado in violation of state law. The vehicle was found abandoned in San Diego, Calif. On June 17, 2016 and Robinson was arrested nearby almost a year later.

He has been held by the Conejos County Sheriff since May.