4 February 2004 – Johnny Leartrice Robinson

Johnny Leartrice Robinson‘How do you tell someone I accidently shot a white woman?’ asked Johnny Leartrice Robinson in his defence as he faced his murder charge.

Car trouble

He was on trial for killing 31-year-old Beverly St. George, who’d broken down on a highway en route from Florida to Virginia. Robinson claimed that his handgun had accidently gone off, while he was having consensual sex with the victim on the bonnet of his car, and that he’d shot her again, because surely no-one would have believed it was an accident. That was his claim anyway. Her corpse was then unceremoniously dumped in a cemetery.

Identity hit

The story didn’t wash with the jury and besides, his 16-year-old sidekick at the time Clinton Bernard Fields, helped stitch him up too. Fields went on record as saying that Robinson shot her in the face, because she could identify them.

But the clincher was probably Robinson’s previous – he was on parole for rape at the time of the crime, and had collected a range of rape convictions along the way.

Both men were found guilty of the 1985 murder. Fields got life and Robinson got death. The 51-year-old was executed by lethal injection on this day in 2004.

Also on this day

4 February 1913 – Eric Sedgewick

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