UPDATE: On Monday August 18, 2020, Richard Robinson was sentenced by the Honorable Bernard J. Garber to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders of his grandfather, Kirby Robinson, and Sacramento resident Derek Oaklay.
Stockton - Today, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that a jury finally concluded their deliberations in the case of Richard Robinson, age 29, finding him guilty of two counts of murder with special circumstances of burglary and robbery. The jury also rejected a claim of insanity proffered by the defense and found him to be sane at the time the crimes were committed.
According to court records, Richard Robinson, beat and stabbed his 87 year old grandfather, Kirby Robinson, in Stockton's Quail Lakes area in the early morning hours of April 14, 2016. He then fled to the Sacramento area and encountered his second victim, Derek Oaklay, a 44 year old male who had sustained multiple stab wounds and died at the scene. His body was found at approximately 9 a.m. in the rear parking lot of a Denny's restaurant in the 1300 block of Howe Avenue.
Witnesses described a white man in his 20s who was seen near the restaurant at the time of the attack. A witness took a photograph of the defendant standing over the body of the victim while seated in a car in the parking lot. The defendant fled out of the parking lot and was found about 1 ½ miles away from the scene by Sacramento County Sheriff Department Deputies. He was in possession of a knife with traces of blood containing the DNA from both victims.
During their investigation, Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies located a vehicle in the Denny's parking lot that belonged to the first victim, Kirby Robinson. They notified Stockton police and the agencies began a dual-jurisdiction investigation.
When the cases appeared connected, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office contacted the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office and requested jurisdiction of the murder of Derek Oakley since it was connected to the murder of Kirby Robinson and believed to have been committed by the same person. The consent was given and the cases were merged to be tried in the County of San Joaquin.
Shortly after his arrest, Robinson agreed to be interviewed by ABC 10 news in Sacramento. He admitted in that interview to committing both murders. "I broke in to take some things and beat and kill him." Robinson told ABC 10 News in Sacramento.
In regard to killing his grandfather he told detectives from Sacramento County Sheriff Department that he went over there to kill Kirby and take some things. He told them he would not do things differently and had no remorse for the killing. When asked about Derek, he indicated he felt euphoric after killing him and he would not have changed a thing. He went to Sacramento to meet a friend and that he was looking for a place to "lay low." "I went to Denny's to get something to eat and came out and the truck was not running," Robinson told ABC 10. "It just wouldn't. It wouldn't start or kick over. ... I just walked around and the second victim was drinking a beer and I just kind of got the idea to stab him. So I did."
His statements to law enforcement were played to the jury during the guilt phase portions of the trial. This trial commenced in February of 2020 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to be halted in the middle of proceedings so the participants could "shelter-in-place". The trial resumed on May 27, 2020, with the jury finding him guilty of the crimes before hearing from several mental health professionals regarding the sanity phase. Two of three doctors testified that he was sane at the time of the crimes and the jury, after lengthy deliberations, came to the same conclusion.
District Attorney Salazar appreciates the hard work and dedication of Deputy District Attorney Janet Smith and the dedicated jurors of San Joaquin County who graciously agreed to return to court to conclude their civic duty as jurors. "I commend my office, law enforcement, the court and the jurors for their diligence and dedication to ensuring the administration of justice during extraordinary times," said District attorney Salazar. "A two month delay in the middle of the trial, an order prohibiting discussion with family and friends regarding the trial evidence, the willingness of jurors to return in the midst of a life-threatening pandemic, and the very thoughtful and considered deliberations of the jury is a testament to the fact that no rush to judgment was made in this case and is a testament to the character of the good citizens of San Joaquin County."
Richard Robinson will be sentenced on August 17, 2020, in Department 8A by the Honorable Bernard J. Garber who presided over the trial.