George Dewey Robinson, a 31-year-old heroin addict from Northwest Washington, was sentenced yesterday to life in prison for the 1976 murder of Annette Nee, a student at the University of Maryland. He will be eligible for parole in 13 years.
Nee's father, Nicholas, who investigated his daughter's murder and says he is still tormented by visions of her death, attended the sentencing yesterday in Prince George's County Circuit Court with his wife, Sugi. Robinson's mother, Gloria Johnson, was also in the courtroom.
Robinson banged his fist on a table in the courtroom when Judge Howard S. Chasanow asked him if he had anything to say before being sentenced.
"I didn't know this woman, I never been to her apartment," Robinson said, referring to Nee. "So no I'm going to jail for the rest of my life for what? For something I didn't do. I feel I'd rather you put me to death."
Judge Chasanow answered Robinson in a firm voice. "Candidly," he said, "I can't think of a worse tragedy than for a young lady like that to be snuffed out in the prime of her life so you can support your drug habit."
According to court testimony, Robinson followed Nee into her apartment building in Hyattsville, forced his way into her apartment, struggled with her over her pocketbook, walked her into her bedroom and shot her just below the nostrils with his revolver. Her body was discovered the day after the murder by her father.
Robinson's lawyer, Richard Sothoron, had asked Judge Chasanow for a new trial, maintaining that Robinson's partner, James Settles, actually had killed Nee and that the evidence against Robinson was circumstantial. Chasanow denied the motion for a new trial and Sothoron said he will appeal the conviction.
Nicholas Nee said he was pleased that Robinson received a life sentence because "I don't want to see another family hurt as we are feeling now. If that's accomplished it's quite a lot.
"But regardless of what comes out of the judicial system, it doesn't help me because I won't see my daughter again."