Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dad with "visitation" convicted of murdering 22-month-old son (Tampa, Florida)

Dad CHAUNCEY ROBINSON has been found guilty of first-degree homicide and aggravated child abuse in the murder of his 22-month-old son. Despite a criminal record, Dad had weekend visitations with toddler. He then extended his visit to two weeks because he said the toddler boy was "soft." Seems that some time in that time period, Daddy basically bashed that little baby to a pulp. This child's brain was so damaged that basically all life functions shut down.

This horrible crime was totally avoidable and preventable. The easy solution: Don't give visitation/custody rights to dads with criminal records, especially when the children involved are babies and toddlers.

Father gets life in prison for son's slaying

Chavon Robinson, 22 months old, died Feb. 13, 2008 after suffering a brain injury.

By TOM BRENNAN The Tampa Tribune

Published: December 10, 2009

TAMPA - For the murder of his 22-month-old son, Chauncey Robinson will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A Hillsborough County jury deliberated for about six hours over two days before finding Robinson guilty today of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the Feb. 13, 2008, slaying.

The conviction carried a mandatory life term, and Robinson held his head and cried as the sentence was imposed.

Robinson's son, Chavon, died within minutes of suffering brain swelling from repeated heavy blows to his head, a pathologist testified.

In her closing argument, Assistant State Attorney Kimberly Hindman said only the child's father had the opportunity to inflict all of the injuries.

Robinson, 27, didn't testify and the defense called no witnesses.

Instead, defense attorney Christopher Watson blamed his client's girlfriend, Tina Tillman, for the toddler's death. He said Robinson left the apartment he shared with Tillman to pawn some jewelry so the couple could pay their telephone bills.

"She had the time alone with the child," Watson told jurors in his closing.

The couple told police the boy was asleep in the bedroom of their apartment while Tillman paid bills. Tillman told police Robinson was in the hall sweeping; he said he was playing video games.

The couple said they heard Chavon make a loud noise and pulled him off the bed to the floor, but he had stopped breathing.

Robinson and emergency medical technicians tried to resuscitate the boy, but he was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Leszek Chrostowski, a Hillsborough County associate medical examiner, said an autopsy the next day showed Chavon had a multitude of injuries, including breaks of both clavicles, lacerations of internal organs and internal bruising.

He said those injuries were caused by a massive blow to the child's stomach. Chavon could have died of those injuries if the head blows hadn't occurred, Chrostowski said.

Chavon's mother testified that Robinson picked up his son for a usual weekend visit on Feb. 1, 2008, and then asked to keep their son longer.

Shantil Galloway told police that during a phone conversation with Robinson he said she was making their son soft and that he was keeping him to "toughen him up."