Robinson Sentenced In Corruption Of Minors
An emotional Donna Clark stood before a courtroom of onlookers Tuesday morning prepared to share details regarding how her 14-year-old son, Joshua Wilt Jr., came to suffer fatal injuries during a drunk-driving accident only moments after midnight on August 3, 2008.
Clark pointed out when the jury rendered a total of nine guilty verdicts in the case of Ronald Lee Robinson several months ago, they were unaware her son had died or was even a passenger in the Isuzu Amigo operated under the influence of alcohol by 17-year-old Robert “Bobby” Smith.
Testimony previously aired revealed Smith and two female juveniles, between the ages of 14 and 16, helped Robinson consume two 18 packs of Busch pounders prior to the accident. Robinson purchased the beer at K&K Budget Beer in Fort Littleton and allowed the three teens to drink the beverages at his North Hess Road, Hustontown, home.
Referring to the impact of her son’s death on her life as “indescribable,” Clark stated her second daughter was born only several months before Joshua’s death. Even though her daughter has no recollection of her big brother, Clark relies on photographs to remember her 14-year-old son.
Clark indicated just seeing her son’s favorite gum or candy is enough to send her daily routine into a spin, and she still finds herself asking God why things happen the way they do.
“No matter the sentence it won’t bring my son back,” said Clark, who added she hoped no other mother would ever have to endure the same pain of losing a child.
Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall followed up on Clark’s statements, saying Robinson “remains a danger to himself and the community.” Kendall specifically referenced Robinson’s drinking problem and a prior conviction for assaulting a police officer.
Robinson openly admitted to the court he has suffered a drinking problem over the years but has cut back significantly due to recently participating in rehabilitation programs. However, he noted having consumed several cans of beer between last Friday and the May 11 court proceeding held before Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Angela Rosenberry Krom.
According to Dwight Harvey, the court-appointed public defender, this case has been a tragedy for all involved, including Robinson. Harvey made mention of Robinson being labeled “retarded” throughout life, social and mental disabilities, and severe alcohol-abuse problems. Robinson’s reasoning skills and ability to differentiate right from wrong, Harvey noted, are more similar to those of a minor than an adult.
Harvey also mentioned other extenuating circumstances that could have resulted in the fatal crash, such as the high rate of speed Smith was travelling to allegedly elude detection by police. “His (Robinson’s) conduct is not the only circumstance that led to this death,” he concluded.
Prior to handing down her sentencing order, Judge Krom confirmed the case had many factors to consider or weigh. Among those would be Robinson’s lengthy alcohol abuse, three prior driving-under-the-influence offenses, an inability to work and a lack of formal education. The flip side includes the family, friends and classmates grieving over the loss of Joshua Wilt Jr.
“Alcohol seems to be an overriding evil in your life,” she concluded before ordering Robinson to complete between 27 months and nine years in a state correctional institution for three counts of the corruption of minors. Credit was granted for 62 days previously served.
Furthermore, each count of corruption of a minor carries a $100 fine. Robinson was also ordered to refrain from contacting the victims and their families.
In addition, each of the three counts of recklessly endangering another person include a prison term of six to 24 months and a $100 fine. Three counts of furnishing alcohol to minors each have a sentence of three to 12 months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Sentencing for those six charges will run simultaneously with the sentence imposed for the corruption of minors counts.