PLANTATION, Fla. (Court TV) – A Florida man accused of fatally beating his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend and forcing her to help him dispose of the victim’s body has been found guilty of second-degree murder at his second trial.
Eric Robinson was found responsible for the death of Nicholas Wilcox, whose body was found in a dumpster in Plantation, Florida, in 2017.
Robinson’s first murder trial abruptly ended on April 17 after the judge declared a mistrial when his ex-fiancée testified about prior bad acts. The witness said a restraining order was the reason Robinson was not staying at his townhome after his arrest.
In charging documents obtained by Court TV, police said Robinson woke his ex-girlfriend, Isabella Tagliarini, up at 2:30 a.m. on October 4, 2017, by placing his hand over her mouth and throat and threatening her not to scream. After making her leave the bedroom, police said that Robinson then went back into the bedroom and used a metal bar to beat the victim to death.
Tagliarini told police that she could hear Robinson saying, “Die (expletive), die (expletive)” and heard what sounded like a metal bar striking a human body. When Robinson left the bedroom, he allegedly admitted to beating the victim and said, “What did you think, he would survive?”
Investigators said that Robinson then wrapped Wilcox’s body in gray tarps and secured it with belts before placing the victim into the back of his pick-up truck. Tagliarini told police that Robinson forced her into the truck and drove them to the Broward County Courthouse, where he parked in a garage and left her inside the truck while he attended a previously scheduled appointment. Tagliarini told police that she stayed in the truck because Robinson threatened her life.
Tagliarini said when Robinson returned to the truck, he drove to the Everglades with the intention of disposing of Wilcox’s body, but could not find a suitable location. Eventually, the pair drove back to Plantation and left Wilcox’s body in a dumpster, police said. Tagliarini and Robinson then allegedly went to Big Lots to purchase cleaning products before returning to Tagliarini’s home.
At the scene of the murder, police said Robinson used the cleaning products in the bedroom and forced Tagliarini to paint a wall. Robinson allegedly told her that she was supposed to tell people that Wilcox had left her and then used the victim’s phone to exchange text messages with Tagliarini to back up the story.
When Robinson left, Tagliarini called the police and cooperated with their investigation. She led officers to the dumpster where they found Wilcox’s body, police said.
While Tagliarini and Robinson were initially charged as co-defendants in the case, the two cases were severed in October 2021, before Tagliarini agreed to plead guilty. Tagliarini, who was originally charged with accessory after the fact, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence. She faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced after she testifies for the prosecution in Robinson’s trial.
Court records show a history of domestic violence in Tagliarini and Robinson’s relationship. A police report from August 2016 and May 2017 allege Robinson assaulted Tagliarini at her home. Tagliarini refused to pursue charges in the May 2017 case, telling police that the police report was inaccurate and that she had fallen rather than been assaulted.
While prosecutors allege that Robinson killed Wilcox after finding Tagliarini in bed with the victim, Robinson’s attorneys said that there was a history of violence in Tagliarini and Wilcox’s relationship. In a motion, Robinson’s attorneys said that Tagliarini’s ex-husband, Nicholas Tagliarini, told police in a deposition that he had a police report from an incident when Wilcox called the police on Isabella one month prior to his death.
DAY 5 – 5/1/23
- The jury hears closing arguments.
- The jury found Eric Robinson guilty of second-degree murder after less than an hour of deliberation.
DAY 4 – 4/27/23
- A DNA analyst with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office testified that Eric Robinson’s DNA was found inside of Nicholis Wilcox’s Ford F-150 as well as a blue bedsheet.
- Isabella Tagliarini’s DNA was found under Wilcox’s fingernails, a blue bedsheet and inside yellow rubber cleaning gloves.
- Jurors were shown a purported love contract between Nicholis Wilcox and Isabella Tagliarini that was found among Eric Robinson’s belongings.
- The prosecution rested its case-in-chief
DAY 3 – 4/26/23
- The jury did not return Wednesday. The judge and counsel discussed jury instructions, which will include lesser charges.
- Judge Bober ruled that Robinson’s defense team cannot introduce Isabella Tagliarini’s prior bad acts.
DAY 2 – 4/25/23
- Broward County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Robinson testified that the victim, Nicholis Wilcox, suffered six blunt force injuries and seven stabbing injuries.
- Wilcox’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, the manner of death was homicide.
- Isabella Tagliarini, Robinson’s ex-girlfriend who was also charged in the case, testified for several hours.
- Tagliarini said that she woke up to Robinson’s hand over her mouth and neck and that Robinson asked her if she wanted to live or die before removing her from the bedroom.
- Tagliarini described hearing Robinson use a large piece of metal to kill Wilcox.
- Tagliarini said that she and Nicholis Wilcox had a fight serious enough that he made her stay in a hotel.
DAY 1 – 4/24/23
- The jury hears opening statements
- Nicholis Wilcox’s body was wrapped in a grey tarp with belts tying off both ends.
- Officers saw furniture moved in the master suite and a strong smell of cleaning products and paint.
- Isabella Tagliarini asked a patrol officer, “Do you think I will ever not hear someone trying to breathe?”
- Eric Robinson’s neighbor witnesses him loading things in the back of Nicholis Wilcox’s Ford F150.
- A supervisor at the Broward County Landfill testified to seeing Eric Robinson and Isabella Tagliarini dumping several trash bags.
- Robinson’s ex-fiancé told jurors he took her car without her permission the night of the murder.