Man accused in fatal hit-and-run of sheriff sergeant was charged for murder in 2003

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As a family prepares to lay 55-year-old Wayne County Sheriff Sgt. Lee Smith to rest, we are learning more about the man accused in his death.

Desmond Robinson was arraigned Saturday on three charges: reckless driving causing death, failure to stop at an injury accident scene causing death, and tampering with evidence.

"The fact that there's some evidence that warranted the charge of tampering with evidence makes it even more concerning," the judge said.

Westland Police say last Tuesday morning, Robinson, speeding down Hines Drive near Middle Belt Road in a Buick Enclave, plowed into Sgt. Smith as he was jogging. Robinson is accused of taking off and leaving Smith bleeding in the road. Westland police found Robinson two days later in Garden City and his damaged SUV was found in a garage in Inkster.

Robinson is accused of cleaning the SUV and buying parts to fix it.

Judge: "Have you been arrested for anything else?"

"A few prior arrests," Robinson said.

Records show Robinson's license is expired. Robinson has previous charges of receiving stolen property, but only admitted to a cocaine possession charge in court.

After watching the news over the weekend, Gerilyn Cook of Detroit quickly recognized Robinson's name and face.

"I know he's the one who was arrested for killing my child," said Cook.

Court records show Robinson had been charged with first-degree murder and felony firearm in 2003 for the shooting death of 26-year-old Reginald Cook. Cook's mother, now 15 years later says, Robinson was even sent to trial for his murder but the charges were dismissed.

"He was in jail, but after he was bound over, he came up with an alibi," Cook said. "And they believed his alibi. I pray they don't let him go this time."

Meanwhile, Westland Police tell FOX 2 Monday their investigation has not led them to believe that Sgt. Smith was intentionally hit or targeted in any way. Westland Police also add that they're unable to say for sure if Robinson had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. He's due back in court next week.

Smith, a devoted husband, father and dedicated officer of nearly three decades, is set to be laid to rest Thursday.