Archive for Saturday, March 3, 2001

Kansas to seek death penalty in barrel bodies case

March 3, 2001

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— Multiple homicide suspect John E. Robinson Sr. must stand trial on three counts of murder, a judge ruled Friday, and the Johnson County prosecutor announced he would seek the death penalty.

Robinson, 57, took notes throughout the 30-minute hearing as Johnson County District Judge John Anderson III bound him over on seven of eight felony counts filed against him.

In Kansas, Robinson is accused of killing two women whose bodies were found in sealed metal barrels on property he owned in Linn County and one woman who disappeared in 1985. That woman's body has not been found.

He also is accused in neighboring Cass County, Mo., of killing three people whose bodies were found in barrels in a storage locker he had rented.

Anderson entered innocent pleas for Robinson on the seven felony counts two each of capital murder, one of first-degree murder, and one each of aggravated kidnapping, felony theft, sexual battery and aggravated interference with parental custody.

The interference charge accuses Robinson of taking the infant daughter of one of his alleged victims. The girl, now a teen-ager, was raised by Robinson's brother and sister-in-law after they unwittingly adopted her illegally.

After the judge announced his decisions, Johnson County Dist. Atty. Paul Morrison handed Robinson formal notice that the state will seek the death penalty on the two capital murder counts.

Anderson dismissed one count of aggravated sexual battery, ruling there was insufficient evidence that a sexual incident reported by a Texas woman was not consensual.

Robinson, who attended the hearing dressed in a business suit, remains in custody without bond. The judge scheduled a hearing on motions for May 29.

Robinson was arrested June 2 on suspicion of assaulting two women he is reported to have met for sadomasochistic sex after making contact on the Internet, where he used the name "Slavemaster." The investigation led to murder charges in the deaths of five women and a teen-age girl.

The capital murder charges in Kansas stem from the deaths of Suzette Marie Trouten, 28, of Newport, Mich., and Izabela Lewicka, a 22-year-old Polish immigrant.

The first-degree murder count charges Robinson with killing Lisa Stasi, 19, whose body has not been recovered. Stasi was the mother of the infant girl who was raised by Robinson's brother.

In Missouri, Robinson is accused of killing Sheila Faith, 45, and her daughter, Debbie, 16, who were last seen in the summer of 1994 after moving to the area from Colorado; and Beverly Bonner, 49, formerly of Cameron, Mo., missing since 1994.

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