Judge sets bond at $1M for man charged after woman set on fire

Bond was set Friday morning at $1 million in Butler County Common Pleas court for a Fairfield Twp. man now facing an attempted aggravated murder charge for allegedly assaulting his father’s girlfriend then setting her on fire before she jumped out a window to escape.

Robbi Robinson, 23, was arrested May 11 while running from the Fairfield Twp. residence where firefighters and police arrived to find Brenda Scott in the backyard suffering from severe burns and other injuries. He was initially charged with felonious assault and aggravated arson and bond was set at $200,000 in lower court.

On Wednesday, the charges against Robinson were upped with a grand jury indictment to attempted aggravated murder, as well as felonious assault and aggravated arson.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

At Friday’s arraignment, defense attorney David Brewer entered a not guilty plea on Robinson’s behalf and stated he had filed a motion questioning his client’s competency to stand trial. Judge Keith Spaeth ordered a forensic psychological evaluation and set a hearing for June 15.

Assistant Butler County 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.

At the time of the arrest, Robinson was possibly having “suicidal ideations”, and while he has been in the Butler County Jail, phone calls to family indicate he is try to reach out to the victim, Pridemore said.

“The charges have become much more significant than the two charges filed in lower court,” Pridemore said. “The charges are particularly heinous and he poses a threat to society and especially the victim.”

In jail monitored phone calls, Robinson says he “wants someone to get into the hospital room, talk to the victim, talk her out of prosecuting, have her drop the charges ...” Pridemore said.

If out on bond, Pridmore says she believes he would try to have access to the victim “to harm her, to harass her and to intimidate her.”

Scott, 50, of Liberty Twp. remains hospitalized in critical condition. Her family was in the front row of the courtroom for the arraignment, but declined comment

Scott was in a bedroom on Arroyo Ridge Court about 10:25 a.m. May 11 when she was hit in the face. She was then splashed with an accelerant and set on fire, according to Sgt. Brandon McCroskey and court documents.

Fairfield Twp. Fire Chief Timothy Thomas said his crews were called to the scene by a neighbor “for a female on fire in the backyard” who possibly dropped from a second-story window while on she was fire.

Firefighters found the woman in the backyard with significant injuries and extinguished a fire in the house.

A 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.”

The suspect, who was still in the residence, used gasoline, she said.

Then the caller says he sees smoke from coming from the house.

“He set the house on fire too, oh my God,” the caller said.

The man stayed with the injured woman assuring her help was on the way. He told dispatchers that he had a firearm, but was concerned about moving the woman. Dispatchers were also concerned for his safety since the suspect was believe to still be on the scene.

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