Eureka resident Maxx Carson Robison, charged with a deadly drive-by shooting nearly four years ago at a local motel, has pleaded guilty to murdering a 19-year-old girl and attempting to murder her boyfriend.
Robison, 24, entered the pleas Wednesday as jurors were being selected for his trial. Although a gag order prevents attorneys from discussing the case, according to court documents Robison admitted to second-degree murder and attempted murder. He also admitted the special allegation that he fired from a vehicle.
In exchange for the plea, the prosecution dismissed the so-called “Use a Gun and You’re Done” allegation that means 25 years to life can be added to any sentence. Other felony charges also were dismissed.
On June 30, 2016, Robison and two friends drove to McCullen’s Motel in Eureka, with Robison hoping to buy drugs from motel guest Elisha Mansell. The two men argued, and Mansell fired a handgun into the air.
According to testimony during the preliminary hearing, Robison went home and got a high-powered rifle, then drove back to the motel and opened fire on Mansell’s Chrysler 300.
It was 3 a.m. and the car had tinted windows, so Robison was unaware that Mansell and his girlfriend Rihanna Sky McKenzie were sitting in the front seat.
McKenzie was killed almost instantly, with Mansell unharmed except for a bullet hole through his cap.
During a recorded phone call from the jail, Robison told his girlfriend “I shot the shit out of his car, and it turned out some poor lady got hit by a stray bullet.”
Robison has been in jail for nearly four years. As part of his plea agreement, he will give up some of his custody credits.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 24 before Judge Christopher Wilson. No sentence has been agreed on.
Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case, with Russ Clanton representing Robison.
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