Tampa attorney: sentences 'disproportionate' in Robinson case - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa attorney: sentences 'disproportionate' in Robinson case

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Valessa Robinson Valessa Robinson
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

In just a few days, 30-year-old Valessa Robinson will be released from the Florida State prison system as a free woman.

She has spent nearly half of her life behind bars after being convicted of killing her mother in 2000. Vicki Robinson was a real estate agent with a comfortable Carrollwood home. She was 49 years old when she was killed.

She was also trying to make it as a single mother with two teenage daughters. In 1998, Valessa Robinson was 15 and having trouble with her mother.

At her murder trial jurors heard that Valessa was sexually active at the age of 13, and that she used drugs and drank alcohol. She was also dating a 19-year-old, Adam Davis.

Related story: Valessa Robinson scheduled to be released from prison early

Testimony would reveal that Valessa came up with a plan to kill her mother and involved Davis and a third defendant, Jon Whispel. At trial, jurors heard a taped confession where Valessa admitted to stabbing her mother in the neck and twice in the back.

Jon Whispel agreed to testify for the state and received a sentenced to 25 years in prison. Adam Davis was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty, while Valessa received the lightest sentence of the three.

Related: Gayle Sierens' exclusive interview with Valessa Robinson's attorney

Tampa Attorney Rick Terrana represented Davis at his trial and says he's bothered by the amount of time Valessa Robinson has served.

"The disproportionate sentences in this case are something that have never sat well with me," said Terrana.

Like many in the community, Terrana believes Valessa did not receive a sentence consistent with her role in the murder.

"I felt like the most culpable person in my opinion got the least restrictive sentence and that's Valessa Robinson," said Terrana. "This was her own mother. This was an idea that was hatched as three defendants, young kids, sat inside of a local restaurant and the daughter, out of the blue, came up with the idea, hey let's kill my mother."

Terrana also believes Adam Davis should not have received the death penalty for his role in the murder of Vicki Robinson.

"Adam Davis is the first client is the first client that I have on death row after handling these for many, many years and he's probably the least deserving in terms of the legalities of the death penalty and again that's another thing that has never sat well with me," said Terrana.

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