Summary of Offense:
On June 26, 1998, Vicki Robinson ran errands with her daughter, Valessa Robinson, her daughter’s boyfriend, Adam Davis, and a mutual friend of her daughter and Davis, Jon Whispel. After dinner that evening, Davis and Whispel left the Robinson home and went to a Denny’s restaurant. Later that evening, Valessa Robinson sneaked out of her home and joined Davis and Whispel at the restaurant. The trio left the restaurant in search of drugs, bought and took LSD, and returned to the restaurant. While at the restaurant, Valessa Robinson stated that the three should kill her mother. Whispel thought Valessa was joking, but Davis and Valessa began to plan how to carry out the murder, agreeing on a lethal heroin overdose of Valessa’s mother. The three went back to Ms. Robinson’s house, took her van without her knowledge, and attempted to buy heroin and a syringe. Unable to purchase heroin, Davis purchased a syringe. Davis suggested that they kill Ms. Robinson by filling the syringe with bleach and an air bubble.
In the kitchen, Davis put Ms. Robinson into a “sleeper” hold, trying to render her unconscious. Davis injected Ms. Robinson with the syringe, but after a few minutes, the bleach did not kill Ms. Robinson, so Davis stabbed her with a knife. Shortly thereafter, the three heard moaning from the kitchen, so Davis grabbed the knife and left the room. Davis later told Whispel that he stabbed Ms. Robinson two more times and tried to break her neck. A few hours later, the three cleaned the kitchen with bleach and towels. Davis put Ms. Robinson’s body into a trash can, and loaded the trash can, along with shovels and a hoe into Ms. Robinson’s van and drove to a wooded area to bury her. The digging was unsuccessful, so they concealed the trash can with foliage, planning to come back later. The three later returned to Ms. Robinson’s house and obtained her credit cards, cash, and ATM card since Valessa knew Ms. Robinson’s personal identification number. The three spent the next few days in Ybor City, using Ms. Robinson’s money to get tattoos and stay at motels. They also purchased twenty bags of concrete, a bucket, and a trash can, with the intention of dumping the body in a canal. While Davis, Valessa, and Whispel were in Ybor City, Florida, Ms. Robinson’s boyfriend, Jim Englert, reported her missing. Davis learned from a friend that both Davis and Valessa were on the news, so the three decided to leave town and flee to Phoenix, Arizona. They never returned to complete their plans to dispose of Ms. Robinson’s body. Ms. Robinson’s credit union tracked the use of her credit card, and Davis, Valessa, and Whispel were apprehended in Pecos County, Texas, after a high-speed chase.
Davis was sentenced to death in Hillsborough County on December 17, 1999.
Valessa Robinson was tried and convicted on charges of third-degree murder and grand theft auto. On May 30, 2000, she was sentenced to fifteen and five years, respectively.
Jon Whispel pled guilty to charges of second-degree murder, third-degree grand theft, and grand theft auto. On June 29,1999, he was sentenced to twenty-five years for the crimes.