New questions in death penalty case -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New questions in death penalty case


Lawyers for an Albany death penalty defendant say it's illegal even to consider putting him to death.

Pre-trial motions continued Friday in the case of a former Dougherty County jailer accused of brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend more than 5 years ago.

Defense attorney's for Allen Robinson, Junior made a motion calling for further psychological evaluations on their client. This comes after a recent mental test showed the former Dougherty County jailer tested in the "mentally retarded" range which could alter the course of the case.

Prosecutors requested a similar evaluation be conducted by the State Department of Behavioral Health to determine if Robinson is in fact competent to stand trial in capital murder case.

Robinson has been in custody since November 2008 when he was charged with chasing down his ex-girlfriend Roshonda Dowell, brutally stabbing her to death in the parking lot of an east Albany shopping center.

If subsequent evaluations find Robinson mentally incompetent it could take the death penalty off the table. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibits states from executing any defendant deemed mentally retarded.

Questions still remain: if Robinson does fall into that category, how did he obtain a job as a jailer with Dougherty County?

"He never finished his probationary period," said lead defense council Burt Baker. "There's some other evidence that will address those issues."

"We will, on the part of the state, take steps to make sure these issues are reviewed and evaluated as we continue with the prosecution of the case," said Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards.

Both sides say they are fully prepared to go trial.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Goss ruled that no further pre-trial hearings will take place until further mental evaluations are conducted on Robinson.

It's not clear when those findings will be made.

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