ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Jury selection begins today in the murder trial of a former jailer who is charged with killing the mother of his children.
The state says Allen Robinson, Junior brutally stabbed 30-year-old Roshonda Dowell several times in November of 2008. He was soon arrested, and has been in jail awaiting trial ever since.
D. A. Greg Edwards originally sought the death penalty against Robinson but the victim's family asked that the death penalty be lowered, so Edwards dropped it. Dowell's family made the decision on the death penalty.
"Because it is a long road. And we just been going through this for almost seven years. And I just want justice for my daughter," said Mary Tinson, the victim's mother.
Prosecutors said Robinson chased down Dowell in the parking lot of an East Albany grocery store, and stabbed her to death as horrified witnesses looked on.
Robinson and Dowell lived together for eight years, and had three children.
Late last year Robinson was found mentally competent to stand trial. His lawyers have filed motions seeking to have Robinson declared mentally retarded.
Defense attorneys filed 112 defense motions that both sides and the judge have been discussing ahead of the trial.
Police said in 2008 that 35-year-old Allen Robinson tried to kidnap Dowell, the mother of two of his children.
Dowell had broken off the relationship, taking out a Temporary Protective Order to keep him away. Robinson told Police he could not cope with the breakup.
"We know that she was forced into his vehicle, and they attempted to leave the parking lot, when she managed to escape from him and the vehicle," said Albany Police Detective Terrence Whitlock.
Police said Robinson viciously beat and slashed Dowell in front of more than a half dozen bystanders.
"We removed her from the house. We got her some help. But we did the best we could. But it wasn't good enough to save her," Washington said.
Robinson fled in his 1996 Cadillac. U.S. Marshals spotted the car on the Liberty Expressway. Albany Police then stopped and arrested him without a fight.
"He did admit and confess to the homicide death of Miss Dowell," said Detective Whitlock
Now her grieving family has to plan to care for her 12 and 10-year-old daughters, and 8-year-old son.
"We gonna pray, we gonna stand fast, we gonna pull together. And help my sister Pat raise Shonda's children," Washington said.
Ironically, Robinson has been held in the Dougherty County jail, where he once worked, since November 2008.