Valessa Robinson, the Florida teenager convicted of killing her own mother in 1998, is set to be released from prison on Friday after serving 85 percent of her sentence. She allegedly worked with her boyfriend and another friend in order to kill Vicki Robinson because she did not approve of Valessa's relationship with boyfriend Adam Davis.
According to reports, Valessa, then 15, Davis, 19, and a friend, Jon Whispel, tried to inject Vicki with bleach, but when that did not work, they simply stabbed her to death and put her body in a garbage can, which they hid in the woods. The three attempted to flee the state and made it as far as west Texas, but deputies shot out their tires and finally took them into custody.
Valessa was sentenced to 20 years in prison for third-degree murder and grand theft of a motor vehicle. Davis received the death sentence and Whispel made a deal with prosecutors and testified against his friends. For his efforts, he received a 25-year sentence and is scheduled to be released in 2020. Valessa has served 85 percent of her sentence and is being released, though the department of corrections has not stated what led to her early release.
The news of Valessa's release has caused a mixture of emotions from those familiar with the case. On the one hand, some believe the 30-year-old deserves a second chance, while others believe she should have been more severely punished.
"It's a bit of a disparity, isn't it? It's unfortunate that the person who in my opinion was the most culpable got the least sentence of all. For Christ's sake, it was her own mother," attorney Rick Terrana, who represented Davis, told the Tampa Bay Times.
"Valessa is still young and my hope is that she will now lead a productive and law-abiding life," former prosecutor in the case Pam Bondi added.
She plans to begin life anew in Mississippi, where people may not know her story or be quick to judge, the Florida Department of Corrections reported. Valessa is not expected to make any statements after her release but instead go quietly into society.