Murder defendant has competency hearing

Murder defendant has competency hearing

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Former Dougherty County jailer Allen Robinson, Junior is accused of brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend in 2008.  He and his lawyers are in Dougherty County Superior Court, where they are arguing that he is mentally incompetent to be subject to the death penalty.

In February, Robinson's lawyers filed a motion calling for further psychological evaluations on their client, claiming a mental test showed the former jailer tested in the "mentally retarded" range, which could could spare him the death penalty.

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.

But if Robinson is mentally incompetent, 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."

Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said he would take steps to make sure these issues are reviewed and evaluated as they continue with the prosecution of the case.

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