Testimony: Soldier implicated himself in e-mail after girlfriend's death
December 18, 2002
MANNHEIM, Germany — An otherwise stern-faced Sgt. Everett E. Robinson wiped tears from his eyes twice Tuesday during the second day of hearings convened to see if — and under what charges — he will face criminal prosecution in the death of his live-in girlfriend, Pearline McKinney.
The first time was when grisly autopsy photos were displayed of McKinney during testimony by the Army’s forensic pathologist. The second time was when his wife of 21 years described him as a “peaceful” and “truthful” man, despite hiding his affair from her.
One of the first things Robinson did after allegedly killing McKinney, according to testimony, was send his wife an e-mail message at 1:26 on the morning of Oct. 5, writing, “You’re all good. I just killed my girlfriend. Have a nice life.”
If convicted, Robinson, 43, who is charged with premeditated murder, faces life in prison without chance of parole.
“That he would calmly and coolly type a letter like that,” prosecutor Capt. Rich DiMeglio told investigating officer Maj. Mark Tellitocci, is not the marking of a man who killed by mistake or in self-defense.
Robinson’s lead defense attorney, Capt. Kwasi Hawks, however, urged Tellitocci to consider prosecuting the soldier under less serious manslaughter charges, saying there was “zero evidence” that Robinson had actually planned to kill McKinney.
“On the contrary, there is evidence that there was remorse,” said Hawks, explaining that Robinson tried to take his own life after McKinney was killed.
“There is zero evidence that lifts this case out of manslaughter,” Hawks said.
Testimony by police and forensic experts painted a picture of a brutal fight between McKinney and Robinson, describing pools, smears and splatters of blood found throughout their Mannheim apartment.
At one point in the struggle, theorized one CID agent, McKinney “was on her hands and knees and was struck on her back” so hard, blood sprayed onto the couple’s bedroom TV.
Army Lt. Col. Kathleen Ingwersen, the Armed Forces chief medical examiner in Europe, said McKinney suffered deep bruises around her face and head as if she had been hit with “significant force” or “slammed against the floor or wall.”
Robinson also displayed wounds.
Capt. Dara Lowe, a physician at Coleman Barracks clinic in Mannheim who examined Robinson five days after the incident, said the stocky sergeant had three “very small moon-shaped cuts on his arms” that looked like they were left by fingernails.
She said he also had a slash on his right thigh, probably left by a knife, but not serious enough to cause stitches, and finally “a very deep cut on his wrist” left from when he attempted to commit suicide.
Robinson’s wife — who testified by phone from her home in Beaumont, Texas — said she didn’t believe her husband would ever hurt someone.
“He’s a very peaceful person,” she said.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” she said, admitting that she had attacked him several times during squabbles. He never hit back, she said. “He only put me in a bear hug.”
Recommendations on whether Robinson should be prosecuted and under what charges are expected to be forwarded to Maj. Gen. William E. Mortensen, commander of the 21st Theater Support Command, for a final decision within the next week or two, said Tellitocci, the investigating officer who presided over the hearings.