Appealing a 30-year-old conviction

Robert Golliver, who killed a RVC boy in 1984, looking to have case overturned


Robert Golliver, who has been in jail since 1984 for the rape and murder of a Rockville Centre newspaper delivery boy, has recently filed an appeal to try to have his conviction overturned.

Golliver was charged with killing 14-year-old Christopher Gruhn, a Rockville Centre native who lived a few houses down from the family that Golliver was living with at the time. According to the case files, Golliver attempted to rob Gruhn, who was riding his bicycle on his newspaper route on Sunday, March 20, 1983. When he learned that Gruhn didn’t have any money, Golliver dragged him to an alley, sodomized him and then stabbed him 27 times in the chest, abdomen and back. Golliver was convicted of one count of intentional murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of first degree robbery and one count of first degree sodomy. He was sentenced to 41 2/3 years to life.

This is not the first time Golliver has tried to have the ruling against him changed. Over the years, he has filed four different appeals for various reasons, each of which were rejected by the court.

Golliver’s latest appeal has a few points, but the main ones are that his lawyer did not provide him with effective representation and that trying him as an adult for a crime he committed when he was 17 was unconstitutional.

Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas filed papers protesting Golliver’s appeal and refuting all of his claims, asking the court to deny his appeal.

“To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant bears the heavy burden of demonstrating that he was denied a fair trial by less-than meaningful representation,” the DA’s filing reads. “Not only must the defendant establish that his trail counsel’s performance was less than reasonably competent, but also that the alleged errors affected the fairness of the trial and were not the result of a reasonable trial strategy.”

The DA refuted Golliver’s claim that he did not have effective representation through 10 pages of documents, citing many transcripts from the trial that show his lawyer defending Golliver to the best of his ability.

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