Judge resentences Robbins to 25 years in prison
BRECKENRIDGE After listening to more than two hours of tearful testimony from family and friends of both Brandon Robbins and the late Cody Wieland, Summit County District Judge David Lass sentenced Robbins to 25 years in prison on Tuesday a three-year reduction from his original punishment handed down almost three years ago.For many who spoke on Tuesday, it was an emotional replay of Robbins first sentencing hearing in August 2004, at which time Lass gave him a 28-year prison term for his role in the 2002 fatal assault of Wieland, then 36. The Court of Appeals vacated the original sentence last August.Its hard to have to keep revisiting Codys murder, said a tearful Katherine Texel, Wielands widow whos now remarried and mother of Wielands only child. I try to look forward to the future rather than (focus) on the past.Lass handed Robbins the maximum 12-year penalty for manslaughter and 13 years for second degree assault with a deadly weapon to be served consecutively both charges Robbins pleaded guilty to in June 2004 as part of a plea agreement.Even though Lass commended Robbins for being a model prisoner and taking every possible opportunity to educate himself while incarcerated, Lass said those merits relate more to a post-conviction sentence reconsideration, not a resentencing. Lass weighed several factors in considering Robbins sentence: the gravity of the crime, injury to the victim, Robbins prior convictions (including a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge and DUI), his risk of future criminal conduct and potential for rehabilitation.The seriousness of Robbins crime was the most dominant factor to weigh, Lass said.The court has an obligation to send a message to this community, visitors and others that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable not only in this community, but in society as a whole, Lass said.Robbins attorney, Adam Tucker, said he was disappointed in Wednesdays outcome and would consider all options available for future direction in the case, which includes appealing the sentence.Robbins, 25, who did not speak at his first sentencing hearing almost three years ago, approached the microphone briefly Tuesday morning, starting off by apologizing to Wielands family.Robbins said he took full responsibility for his role in Wielands death on Halloween night 2002, but that he didnt instigate the fight that ultimately ended Wielands life.He said he tried to break up the argument between Wieland and Brian Stockdale whos serving a 26-and-a-half year sentence for his role in Wielands death but failed, and the two charged each other on Main Street in Breckenridge outside a now-defunct eatery where the altercation began.The two men became entangled and Stockdale began yelling for help.I didnt want to get involved in the fight. I just wanted Mr. Wieland to stop hitting my friend, Mr. Stockdale, in the face, Robbins said.Robbins hit Wieland with a Kevlar army helmet on the back of the head, according to previous testimony in the case.Robbins said he didnt kick Wieland while he was on the ground, as eyewitness accounts indicated, and had no idea how badly Wieland was hurt until he read about his grave condition in the newspaper. Robbins statements followed several tear-filled testimonials by his mother, aunt, brother and close friend, all pleading with Lass for leniency.Brandon is a rare, unique young man, Robbins aunt Donnetta Guthrie said. Hes honest and genuine to the core. … Hes one of the most compassionate human beings Ive ever known.Testimony from the prosecutions side was just as emotional, with Wielands mother, Jocelan Martell, reading a letter she wrote to her deceased son to express her feelings. She also showed a 5-minute video displaying pictures of Wielands life as a boy growing up in the Pacific Northwest, of his wedding day, holding his first-born baby boy and ending with a photo of Wieland on life support after the assault.Breckenridge Mayor Ernie Blake asked Lass to give Robbins the stiffest penalty possible to send the message that the Breckenridge community wont stand for such violent actions.The facts (of the case) are horrific, Blake said. The deeds that were done, as others have said, were cowardly and dastardly.One interesting fact revealed during Wednesdays hearing was that the Robbins purchased Martells home last year when she was facing foreclosure so she could continue living there. Robbins mother, Carla, said they use rental income from a home Brandon built before he went to prison to pay Martells mortgage.In an interview following the hearing, Martell said she never spoke publicly of the Robbins financial assistance because they asked her to keep the purchase confidential. Martell was not allowed to speak to Carla Robbins comments about the financial assistance during court because she had already given her impact statement.Robbins original sentence was vacated because the appellate court found that Summit County District Court erred in how it determined to impose a consecutive sentence on Robbins instead of a concurrent sentence. Robbins is still eligible for a post-conviction sentence reconsideration per state law, in which the judge would take another look at his punishment.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at email@example.com.
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