Crime & Courts

SC State University student killed in broad daylight. Here’s what it cost the school

Brandon Robinson
Brandon Robinson Family photo

South Carolina State University and two university-related groups will pay $437,500 in a wrongful death settlement involving the 2014 fatal on-campus shooting of a student football player.

The player, Brandon Robinson, 20, of Orangeburg, was shot in the neck in the early afternoon of Jan. 24, 2014, in a parking lot outside the football players’ dormitory, which is called Hugine Suites Hall.

Robinson was a junior business major and played on the football team as an outside linebacker and defensive end. The shooting received nationwide publicity because Robinson was a student-athlete and the incident highlighted issues of campus safety.

A sophomore business major, Justin Singleton, pleaded guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the case and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Singleton, now 23, will be eligible for parole in 2035, according to S.C. Department of Corrections records.

Singleton had “pistol-whipped” Robinson in the parking lot, then shot him fatally, according to court records.

As part of the settlement, S.C. State University and the two related entities, the S.C. State University Real Estate Foundation and the S.C. State University Housing, admitted no fault.

The money will go to Robinson’s estate. His sole surviving beneficiary is his father, Darryl Brown.

A lawsuit in the case alleged that the university is in a known high crime area and that S.C. State University did not provide adequate security and protection to students.

Moreover, the lawsuit alleged, the university knew that Singleton had a history of violent conduct, assaulting other students and anger issues, but allowed him to continue as a student.

The university has a duty to “provide a reasonably safe environment for learning and higher education” but failed to do so, the lawsuit alleged.

Lawyers for Robinson’s estate included David Marshall, Shane Burroughs and Gerald Davis of Orangeburg.

“We hope this lawsuit has caused the university to review and enforce its policies and procedures for the protection and safety of its students and other visitors on campus,” said Marshall.

The university had no immediate comment on the settlement.

Of the $437,500 paid to the estate, the S.C. Insurance Reserve Fund is paying $375,000 for S.C. State University. The other $62,500 is being paid by the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. for the other two entities.