Capital murder trial for man accused of killing woman who was set on fire reset for summer

Robbi Robinson faces the death penalty if convicted..

A capital murder trial slated to begin in early 2024 for a man accused of setting a woman on fire and killing her at her Fairfield Twp. home has been continued until next summer.

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

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

On Wednesday, Robinson, who is being held in lieu of a $1 million bond, was back in Butler County Common Pleas court for a pre-trial hearing.

Judge Keith Spaeth previously set the three-week trial to begin in February, but granted the defense motion to continue the trial date. Robinson’s trial is now scheduled to begin Aug. 26.

Defense attorneys David Brewer and Lawrence Hawkins III filed the motion to continue, stating investigations and reports from a forensic psychologist, mitigation specialist and investigator will not be completed in enough time to prepare for trial.

“The forensic psychologist’s preliminary assessment is that there is likely an issue with Mr. Robinson having a serious mental illness. But to confirm such assessment, the forensic psychologist has tasked the defense team with additional fact development for support for such an assessment,” the attorneys said in a motion signed by both of them.

The forensic psychologist had a medical issue that has delayed the assessment process, according to the defense.

Prosecutors did not join in the motion, but did not oppose it because it is reasonable and not last-minute.

Prosecutors say 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 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.

The neighbor called 911 and jumped a fence to help the woman.

“I see a little fire next to her and she is laying in the backyard,” the man 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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