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Autopsy released after deadly assault

Updated: Friday, April 5 2013, 08:52 AM EDT
An autopsy report released Thursday reveals Ed Robinson, the man who died in an assault at the Rutherford County Airport in August was beaten to death with a wrench.

The report describes the cause of death as blunt force head injuries - sustained to the back of the head and neck - and details bruising on Robinson's chest, shoulder, wrist and leg.

According to investigative reports, Robinson was involved in an altercation with Robert Craig on August 8. In initial 911 calls made from the scene, witnesses said Robinson was having a heart attack. The 68-year-old died from injuries at Mission Hospital August 11.

In the eight months since the assault there have been no arrests, leaving many in the community to speculate about the chain of events leading to Robinson's death.

Bill Metcalf said that when read that Craig, a long-time neighbor, was involved in a deadly assault in the paper he didn't believe it for even a minute.

"Seriously I thought there was quite a mistake made, it just didn't fit Robby, not at all," said Metcalf from his Union Mills home.

Very few details have been released since the incident, which happened in an airport hangar, but Metcalf says Craig, 37, described to him what happened, telling Metcalf and his wife Margie that 68-year-old Robinson - an airport employee - attacked him.

"The old boy had Robby by the throat and was trying to - but now you couldn't see bruises. I never saw bruises on him, anywhere. But that's what Robby said," Metcalf said.

The autopsy has taken eight months to come back from the medical examiner and in the meantime, the case has appeared dormant - with no arrests, but many in the community are still talking about it.

Airport Director Bob Howard said a pall has hung over the airport since the assault happened.

Weeks ago, Craig - who continues to run the company Big Air out of an airport hangar - had his home foreclosed on, neighbors say.

"His reputation was shot all to pieces - that he attacked an old man and beat him into the grave," said Metcalf.

Local authorities say rigorous testing was likely the reason the report on the body of 68-year-old Ed Robinson took months to be issued by the state Medical Examiner's office in Winston-Salem.

The sheriff will present the full autopsy report to the District Attorney, who  may then recommend the case to be considered in front of a grand jury. Sheriff Chris Francis told News 13 Thursday that a decision likely won't be made until next week.

By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurlesAutopsy released after deadly assault

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