Lifer's plea for reduced time denied Judge rejects bid of Colorado slayer

January 31, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

In a harshly worded order, a Howard Circuit Court judge denied a request for a reduced sentence from a Colorado man serving a life term for a February 1991 murder in Jessup.

Tommy Ray Robinson, a 43-year-old truck driver from Fort Collins, entered a plea agreement in July for the shooting death of Christopher Frey, 32, of Grass Lake, Mich., after a fight over a woman at the Trucker's Inn, near Interstate 95 in Jessup.

He was sentenced in September to a life term for first-degree murder. He also received a five-year sentence for attempted murder in the shooting of another man involved in the truck-stop confrontation.

The defendant filed a request Wednesday for a reduced sentence, saying the guilt he feels over the shooting is something he will live with for the rest of his life.

But Judge James Dudley issued a one-page ruling on Thursday, denying the defendant's request.

"For reasons unknown but in total sobriety, Robinson elected to abandon his wife and family and took up with a 'wanton' woman and after excessive drinking, the massacre of Feb. 18, 1991, occurred," the judge wrote.

"One life was lost and many lives were damaged beyond repair," the ruling says. "The one person solely responsible is Robinson."

"The sentence of life imprisonment for first-degree murder is appropriate. The sentence of five years for the effort to murder the second person is appropriate. To have any meaning to anyone, that sentence must be consecutive," the judge wrote.

Robinson, a first-time offender, said in his request that he accepts responsibility for the shooting, but drinking and a "wanton woman" contributed to the events that led to the incident.

"Nothing in [Robinson's] past could have made any one believe that this would happen, nor did the petitioner decide on that day that he was going to become a murderer," the request says. "Even now, the [defendant] questions his character for violence."

Robinson asked the judge to consider the "sentence" his wife and two children are serving 2,000 miles away while he finishes his term at the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore.

Robinson noted that a defendant serving life in Maryland is in prison on the average of 22 years, meaning that he will be at least 65 years old before he is released.

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