Lakeland man tried to choke deputy while being arrested for girlfriend’s murder, sheriff’s office says

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland man faces a first-degree murder charge after allegedly killing and burying his girlfriend, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, a woman called Auburndale police saying that her son told her he killed his girlfriend.

Auburndale police asked the PCSO to do a welfare check on the girlfriend at the couple’s home at US 98 North near Keen Road in unincorporated Polk County.

The sheriff’s office said the responding deputy found suspect Jason Robinson, 37, of Lakeland outside his RV. Robinson gave the deputy a false name, but the deputy recognized him since he saw his photo before arriving at the couple’s RV, the PCSO report states.

When the deputy tried to handcuff Robinson, the suspect attacked the deputy, removed his taser and radio, and tried to choke the deputy, according to the sheriff’s office, However, two people saw the attack and helped the deputy fight back and restrain Robinson.

“I can’t express my gratitude enough to the two witnesses who jumped in to aid my deputy during a violent fight with a very violent man,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Had they not gotten involved, this could have been much worse than it already is. I’d also like to extend our condolences to the family of the victim.”

After Robinson was restrained, other deputies searched for Robinson’s girlfriend before noticing “freshly disturbed” dirt under a pallet with two chairs and a table on top. The sheriff’s office said the victim was found buried underneath the pallet.

Robinson faces numerous charges, including the following:

  • 1st Degree Murder (FC)
  • Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (F2)
  • Battery on a LEO (F3)
  • Tampering with Evidence (F3, 2-counts)
  • Resisting with Violence (F3)
  • Depriving an Officer with Means of Communication/Protection (F3)
  • Give False ID to LEO (M1).

Robinson has been previously charges with 19 felonies and misdemeanors in Florida, having been imprisoned four times with the most recent being in 2020. His criminal history, which also extends to four other states, includes, kidnapping, sex offender violations, assault, and battery.

Correction: An initial copy of this story said the phone call came in Sunday. This has been corrected to Saturday.

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