April 26, 2005
The Albemarle Circuit Court judge said he has only changed a jury's sentence recommendation five times in twenty years. But Tuesday will make six after he rejected five years off of an eight year sentence, giving Aaron Robinson a more lenient sentence.
Last February, Robinson was found guilty of shooting former UVa football player and current Baltimore Raven Jamaine Winborne outside of his apartment in Hench hall.
The jury recommended Robinson serve consecutively the minimum sentence of three years for use of a fire arm and the minimum sentence of five years for malicious wounding.
The three year sentence for use of a firearm could not be knocked down.
"Given what the judge could do, I think he did the best for Aaron that he could legally do," said defense attorney Lloyd Snook.
The Commonwealth's Attorney, Darby Lowe, was in favor of a mitigated sentence.
Winborne had strangled Robinson earlier that night and was said to be creating a ruckus outside of Robinson's apartment.
The decision Robinson made to the leave the safety of his apartment and step through his apartment door with a gun proved to the judge that he had the intent to "get even."
But because he felt like he had to get even also proved to the judge that Robinson deserved a more lenient sentence.
"There are times, and this is one of those times, particularly given that Aaron was assaulted by Winborne, that this is a different case and for that reason the judge gave him three years that he had to give him and suspended the balance," explained Snook.
Snook argued today that Robinson's mental state the night of the shooting was not normal. He used a letter from Robinson's psychiatrist, and testimony from his academic advisor and Robinson himself, to underscore Robinson's health problems.
Specifically, the advisor and Robinson talked about his anxiety problems. Robinson said, "things bother me a lot more than everybody else."
He said he began taking Prozac, which made him "feel strange" and it exacerbated his anxiety. Robinson testified to the Prozac still being in his system the night of the shooting.
Robinson's academic advisor said his panic and anxiety can be attributed to his "high risk lifestyle."
Robinson, a foster child from New York, saw his brother murdered when he was thirteen, and was also shot two years ago.
The defendant is appealing.