2025 trial set in Butler County capital murder case after defendant declared competent

Robbi Robinson has a profane outburst after competency ruling.

The capital murder trial has been set for 2025 in Butler County Common Pleas Court for a Fairfield Twp. man accused of setting a woman on fire last year.

Robbi Robinson, 24, is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated arson and felonious assault for the May 11, 2023, incident on Arroyo Ridge Court. Robinson was arrested as he attempted to leave the scene.

The victim, Brenda Scott, 50, died of her injuries a few weeks later. Robinson faces the death penalty if convicted.

Robinson’s trial set for August was canceled earlier this month when additional forensic evaluations were ordered to determine his competency for trial.

Robinson’s competency was first questioned in March after a psychologist said he claimed to be “the Supreme Being,” according to court records.

Defense attorneys David Brewer and Lawrence Hawkins III said in the formal motion, “Mr. Robinson was so delusional that Dr. Jenny O’Donnell could could not complete her evaluation. Mr. Robinson claimed to be ‘the Supreme Being’ and made other claims that the court had no power over him.”

On Friday, after reviewing two additional evaluations, Judge Keith Spaeth declared Robinson competent. Spaeth set the new trial for Feb. 3.

As the short hearing was closing, Robinson stood up and yelled a profanity laden rant.

Deputies in the courtroom were able to get Robinson seated, and he remained mostly quiet while the hearing was completed with the judge acknowledging his outburst and asking, “OK, are you finished?”

Prosecutors said Robinson filled a container with accelerant, took it to an upstairs bedroom, doused the 50-year-old woman with it and lit her on fire. He is also accused of hitting her in the face, knocking out teeth. Scott jumped out a window to escape.

Scott was found on fire in her backyard by a neighbor who called 911.

Robinson’s initial arraignment in May 2023 shed light on some of case details.

Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Katie Pridemore requested the judge set a high bond, outlining the trauma Scott suffered that included two teeth being knocked out by the roots in addition to the burns and injuries from jumping out a second-floor window.

“I see a little fire next to her and she is laying in the backyard,” the man who called 911 told the dispatcher. “She is talking to me. She is hurt bad.”

The woman can be heard in the background saying, ”he set me on fire.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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