Home Madison Probable cause hearing set in Tony Robinson shooting case

Probable cause hearing set in Tony Robinson shooting case


A Dane County judge will determine whether there is probable cause to appoint a special prosecutor and charge Madison police officer Matthew Kenny in the 2015 shooting death of Tony Robinson.

A hearing in the case is set for February 20 and 21, according to online court records.

Robinson was 19 on March 6, 2015, when friends called 911, concerned for his mental health as he was reportedly acting erratically, jumping into traffic and yelling. Kenny approached a stairwell where he said he heard a disturbance. Less than a minute later, he shot Robinson seven times.

At the time, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne declined to charge Kenny, saying his use of force was lawful.

In 2017, the City of Madison’s insurance company paid a $3.3 million settlement to Robinson’s family.

That’s not enough for Sharon Irwin, Robinson’s grandmother, and a number of other advocates for the family, who have used a state statute to petition the court for a prosecution independent of the district attorney.

“There are two completely different stories,” Irwin said in an interview Monday evening.

Irwin first petitioned the court in March of this year, and in August Judge Juan Colas determined an evidentiary hearing would be required. On Monday, Colas set that hearing for February 20 and 21, with witness lists and exhibits due February 6.

Irwin said at least seven witnesses will provide evidence that she thinks will constitute probable cause to charge Kenny with a crime in the shooting. If so, the court will appoint a special prosecutor, Irwin said.

“All of the lawyers that were working with me sent a letter to Judge Colas telling him they could prosecute this case and win,” Irwin said.

Colas is set to retire this month, so the case will be assigned to a new judge before the hearing.