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A Florida man who allegedly fatally shot his girlfriend and buried her in a cinderblock tomb beneath an RV was arrested over the weekend.
Jason Robinson, 37, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, Rhonda Marie Wright, authorities said. He also was charged with tampering with physical evidence, using false identification, resisting an officer with violence, depriving an officer of a means of protection, battery on a law enforcement officer, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
On Sept. 25, Robinson’s mother called Auburndale Police Department to report her son “may be on drugs,” and “mentally ill,” while operating his girlfriend’s green Volkswagen, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com. His mother later told police that Robinson had confessed to his girlfriend’s murder.
Authorities later responded to the couple’s home near Lakeland, Florida in unincorporated Polk County.
Upon arrival, deputies observed Wright’s green Volkswagen Golf near the couple’s RV. Its window was rolled down and a white cooler was visible on the right front seat with what appeared to be blood on it and was emitting a foul smell, they added.
Robinson, who emerged from a wooded area near the couple’s property, provided a fake name and birthdate to deputies, the complaint states. Robinson later attacked a responding deputy, whom he choked, while being detained, according to the report; two witnesses later came to the aid of the deputy, who lost his taser and radio in the scuffle.
Next to the RV, deputies discovered two chairs and a small table sitting on a pallet next to the door; freshly disturbed dirt on the pallet. A row of partially buried cinder blocks underneath the pallet later revealed a makeshift grave — and a human knee.
Homicide investigators, who promptly overtook the investigation, later exhumed Wright’s remains. A black cord was found wrapped around her neck. A spent nine-millimeter shell casing was also recovered by detectives, they said.
After securing the crime scene, a witness came forward and divulged that Robinson had also admitted to gunning down his girlfriend.
“I fucked up,” the unidentified witness recalled Robinson telling him. “I killed [her] today.”
Robinson allegedly told the witness Wright had “pulled a gun on him,” and that after a physical struggle, he’d shot her with the nine-millimeter pistol. The witness, who said he knew Robinson for 12 years, also disclosed the man had disposed of the firearm in a nearby wooded area.
Robinson was booked into a Polk County detention center on Sept. 26, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com.
“I can’t express my gratitude enough to the two witnesses who jumped in to aid my deputy during a violent fight with a very violent man,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “Had they not gotten involved, this could have been much worse than it already is. I’d also like to extend our condolences to the family of the victim.”
Robinson is being held without bond. He has been placed on suicide watch, jail officials confirmed.
Wright’s cause and manner of death weren’t immediately available. A preliminary autopsy has been conducted by the Polk County Medical Examiner and Coroner but the results haven’t yet been made public.
Robinson, who is a convicted sex offender, has been arrested multiple times in Florida. He’s racked up 19 felonies, dating back to at least 2005, and has been sentenced to state prison on four separate occasions. His prior charges include sex offenses, kidnapping, aggravated battery, and assault. He also has a criminal history in North Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi and Delaware.
Robinson appeared in Polk County court on Monday, according to separate court filings. He hasn’t yet entered a plea and is scheduled back in court on Oct. 2.
Robinson's public defender, Howard Dimmig II, wasn’t immediately available for comment on Tuesday when contacted by Oxygen.com.
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