Plea date set for reckless murder suspect

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 30-year-old Calera man who is facing reckless murder and drunken driving charges is set to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court in mid-July for a plea date, according to court documents.


Daniel Joseph Robinson, who lists an address on Daventry Trail in Calera, is set to appear in court for the plea date on July 17 at 1 p.m. A Shelby County grand jury during its August 2017 term returned a two-count indictment against Robinson, upholding the two charges against him.

Robinson previously entered not guilty pleas to both charges.

Robinson’s charges stemmed from an Aug. 4, 2016, crash, which happened at about 11:50 p.m. on Interstate 65 about one mile south of Alabaster. The driver of a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer was parked on the shoulder of I-65 when a 2008 Nissan Altima driven by Robinson struck the Mitsubishi.

The Lancer was then struck again by a 2006 Hyundai Sonata, and the Lancer caught fire. The driver of the Mitsubishi, who was identified as 43-year-old Clanton resident Robert Alan Gentry, was pronounced dead on the scene, according to State Troopers.

Robinson was not injured in the crash, and the driver of the Sonata was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries.

According to court documents, Robinson allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.06 percent at the time of his arrest.

The indictments against Robinson said he allegedly did “recklessly engage in conduct which manifested extreme indifference to human life and created a grave risk of death to a person other (than himself)” when he allegedly drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Reckless murder is a Class A felony. If indicted and convicted on the charge, Robinson could face up to life in prison. He was released from the Shelby County Jail the same day he was arrested after posting a $75,000 bond.