TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A man whose 1998 murder of his girlfriend’s mother gained national headlines apologized in court Monday as his death sentence was reduced to life in prison.
Adam William Davis, now 42, told Judge Michelle Sisco “not a single day goes by” that he doesn’t think of the murder of Vicki Robinson and “how I wish I could turn back the clocks of time and change what happened.”
Davis was being resentenced for the murder, which happened when he was 19. Prosecutors had decided not to seek the death penalty again after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out his sentence and others because the jury had not voted unanimously for the penalty. Davis’ jury voted 7-5.
The murder became national news and was told on TV true-crime shows.
“Ms. Robinson had so much light and love for the world and showed me kindness,” Davis said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “Her loss is a great tragedy that should never have happened. To her family and loved ones, I express my deepest sorrow for their loss.”
Robinson had been trying to contain the behavior of her 15-year-old daughter, Valessa, when Davis, the girl and a third teen, Jon Whispel, decided to kill Robinson.
Later that night, Davis attacked Robinson in her kitchen, injecting her with bleach. When that didn’t kill her, he stabbed her to death. The three then put her body in a trash can and dumped it in the woods.
While Davis got a death sentence, Valessa Robinson served 13 years and Whispel was released in 2019. That discrepancy also played a role in the prosecution’s decision not to seek another death sentence. Florida ended parole in 1983, so Davis has no possibility of release.
No one from Robinson’s family was present to hear Davis’ apology, but Judge Sisco believed it sincere.
“Even though you were not a juvenile at the time, you were still young,” Sisco said. “And I thought to myself that I bet not a night goes by, when you’re in your jail cell, that you don’t have (anything) but regret for the choices that you made.”