Valessa Robinson released from prison - WFLA News Channel 8

Valessa Robinson released from prison

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Robinson's picture from DOC website Robinson's picture from DOC website
HOMESTEAD, FL (WFLA) -
All indications are that Valessa Robinson is a free woman Friday morning.

Just after midnight, a phone call from news media to the Homestead Correctional Institution confirmed Robinson had completed processing and was on her way out. A few minutes later, a gray Chevrolet SUV left the minimum-security prison with what appeared to be Valessa Robinson and her father, Chuck.

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

The Florida Department of Corrections Inmate Population Information Detail has not been updated since Sunday and still officially listed Robinson as "currently incarcerated."

Robinson has been in state custody since June 2000 after being convicted of 3rd Degree Murder and Grant Theft of a Motor vehicle related to the death of her mother, Vicki Robinson, 49, at their family home in Carrollwood in 1998. Valessa was 15 at the time of the killing. She's now 30.

Valessa's boyfriend from that time, Adam Davis, and another friend, Jon Whispel were also involved in the murder. Davis is on death row and Whispel is serving a 25-year sentence.

Related story: Tampa attorney: sentences 'disproportionate' in Robinson case

Department of Corrections spokesperson Misty Cash said Thursday that it could take anywhere from an hour to three hours for staff members to get an inmate ready for release. Cash said staff have to do thorough paperwork, including searches to make sure inmates aren't wanted by other states for offenses.

Robinson's release was not open to media, but Cash said the inmate would've handed in her prison blue jumpsuit and changed into civilian clothing before she left.

Robinson registered with the Department of Corrections that she will now live in Mississippi, presumably with her father since that's where he lives.

Many remember Robinson as she looked during her trial. She wore sweater sets and Mary Janes that, paired with her curly brown hair, made the 17-year-old look young. She looks much different now. A DOC inmate photo shows her hair is much shorter, cut above her ears. Earlier in the week DeeAnn Athan, the attorney who defended Robinson during her trial, said the inmate donated to Locks of Love from prison. She wasn't sure what future plans might hold in store for Robinson.

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

"I know that she wants privacy," Athan said. "I think even though a lot of people will still condemn her, I think that some people would like to see that she has led a productive life for the last 17 years in prison."

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