Man guilty of killing man who made unwanted remarks to girlfriend

October 23, 2020

UPDATED 10/22/20

TAMPA, Fla. (Court TV) — After 5 hours of deliberation, a jury found Erin Robinson guilty on two counts, including first-degree felony murder, for the death of Raul Ortiz in 2014. The defendant was out on bond prior to his trial but shortly after the verdict was read, Robinson was shackled and led out of the courtroom into custody.

Robinson is due back in court on Nov. 23 for sentencing. He faces life in prison without parole.

ORIGINAL STORY 10/15/20

TAMPA, Fla. (Court TV) — A Florida man is facing decades behind bars for allegedly killing a man who made unwanted comments to his girlfriend.

Erin Robinson is accused of violently beating Raul Ortiz on Aug. 11, 2014. The alleged incident happened after Robinson’s girlfriend, Kayla Bryant, encountered Ortiz at a Circle K gas station in Tampa. It was there that she claims Ortiz made inappropriate sexual comments towards her while “looking down her shirt,” according to an affidavit.

Upon leaving the store, Bryant told the defendant about the encounter with Ortiz, who they both knew priorly. Investigators say Robinson then rounded up two others and drove to Ortiz’s house approximately two hours later, where they confronted him outside.

During the altercation, Robinson allegedly struck Ortiz three times in the face, knocking him to the ground. Witnesses say Robinson’s friends pulled him off an unconscious Ortiz and they left the scene.

Ortiz died four days later. Authorities say he never regained consciousness and had no brain activity following the incident.

Robinson is facing multiple charges including first-degree felony murder. He is pleading not guilty.

Jury selection in the trial of FL v. Erin Robinson is scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 19. Court TV is carrying the proceedings live.

DAY 1:

  • Both sides deliver opening statements
  • Raul Ortiz’s neighbor, Kimberly Boyette, breaks down on stand as defense challenges her on prior inconsistent statements, but she remains consistent on one point: Erin Robinson threw the first punch
  • Medical examiner says cause of death was blunt impact to head with fractures of skull and contusions of cervical spinal cord
  • Jurors see crime scene photos, video of the victim and Kayla Bryant at Circle K, and video of Erin Robinson, Kayla Bryant and Levinia Danielle Reynolds

DAY 2: 

    • State rests after playing excerpts of Robinson’s testimony from a 2015 stand your ground hearing
    • Defense rests after calling three witnesses
    • Defendant declines to testify
    • Judge Ward sends jury home around 3:35 ET after conveying her deep disappointment in them for discussing media coverage, witnesses and the defendant in violation of her admonitions
    • Defense moves for a mistrial, which Judge Ward denies

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