No surprises, just sadness, at hearing for brothers accused in Pasquale slaying

Dante and Justin Robinson
Dante and Justin Robinson
Posted: October 29, 2012

FEW PEOPLE CAN imagine the anguish that welled up inside Autumn Pasquale's relatives when they finally eyed her two alleged killers.

During a brief detention hearing Friday morning in Gloucester County Superior Court, Dante Robinson, 17, and his brother Justin, 15, were ordered to remain in custody. Reporters were not allowed to attend the hearing.

The Clayton, N.J., teens were charged earlier this week with beating and strangling Pasquale last Saturday, then stuffing the 12-year-old into a recycling bin.

The emotional toll of Friday's hearing was written all over the reddened face of Pasquale's father, Anthony, who gripped his slain daughter's tiny teddy bear as he left the courthouse in silence.

Prosecutor Michelle Jeneby said the Robinson brothers would have another detention hearing on Nov. 16.

The state, she said, would object to any efforts to have the teens released from custody.

Jeneby said prosecutors had not decided whether to seek to have the brothers tried as adults.

Attorneys for the Robinson brothers did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier in the week, one of Pasquale's uncles criticized the way authorities handled the investigation into her disappearance and death.

But on Friday, Jaime Kaigh, a longtime criminal-defense lawyer who represents Pasquale's divorced parents and their respective spouses, disputed the idea that any tension existed between the family and the prosecutor's office.

"I'd say there's no rift, as far as I'm concerned," he said.

Pasquale, who would have turned 13 on Monday, will be laid to rest Saturday.

"I think there's going to be a big turnout of heartbroken local citizens and family and friends," Kaigh said.

"In a peaceful town like Clayton, this is a shocker."

Contact David Gambacorta at or 215-854-5994. Follow him on Twitter at @dgambacorta.

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