Closing arguments wrap up in trial of Albany man accused in woman’s 2022 murder
In closing arguments, the prosecution claimed Iaeir Robinson killed Ahsid Hemingway-Powell in May 2022 because he had just contracted HIV from her and was worried people about people finding he was dating a transgender woman.
Robinson is on trial in Albany County Court for second-degree murder. Assistant District Attorney Ariel Fallon said that Robinson had gone with Hemingway-Powell days before the murder to receive the results of a confirmation test that she had HIV.
Robinson is accused of shooting Hemingway-Powell twice in the head in her apartment on Old Hickory Drive in Albany. Hemingway-Powell was an LGBTQ activist and recently graduated from the University at Albany with the goal to become a physician assistant one day.
Fallon said Robinson “stole a bright light” from the community.
She outlined the events leading up to the murder. She said Robinson was exchanging text messages with his mother about the news that his girlfriend has HIV and he could have been infected.
“By getting HIV, he was going to be outed as being in a relationship with a transgender woman,” she said.
Fallon said Robinson’s fingerprint is found above the headboard of Hemingway-Powell’s bed, which she argued was left when he braced himself as he looked under the bed for a spent shell casing.
Also, the prosecution stressed that the person who killed Hemingway-Powell used their left hand and Robinson is left-handed.
Fallon then reviewed for the jury photos taken from surveillance cameras of different places he visits including a convenience store. He is seen smashing her cell phone and then throwing it away in a dumpster of a hotel off Wolf Road.
Fallon said everything in his body was never seen again.
Robinson is also seen on surveillance camera throwing out a $130 sweatshirt. He also is seen carrying a fanny pack but that item is not seen again. He has a different colored one afterward.
Robinson calls a friend asking him to pick him at 1 a.m. near Hemingway-Powell’s apartment on an off-ramp to Route 9 where there are no sidewalks.
After the murder, he deleted evidence of their relationship from his phone, according to Fallon.
Hemingway-Powell was very active on social media and had two Facebook accounts. However, Robinson isn’t connected to her on social media.
“They’re not friends on either of her Facebook accounts. That’s how ashamed he was of their relationship,” she said.
Police interviewed him because he was the last person to see her alive. When asked, Fallon said Robinson told police that he was at Rivers Casino in Schenectady. However, detectives had not asked about a specific time period.
Cell phone locator data points in him her apartment at the approximate day and time of death, according to Fallon.
In addition, a search of his phone showed that he had searched the Albany Police Department Facebook page multiple times, which Fallon said indicated that he was searching for news about when her body would be discovered.
Defense Attorney Francisco Calderon, who gave his summation first, argued that the police did not adequately look into other leads. He said that Hemingway-Powell was having relationships with other men. A used condom wrapper was found in the trash.
“The police had tunnel vision and they failed to investigate other suspects,” he said.
Court will resume on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. with Judge William Little giving instructions and the charge to the jury, according to the District Attorney’s Office. That is expected to take a half hour and then the jury will get the case.