JONESBORO — Murder and other felony charges were dropped against a College Park woman accused of causing the death of a cab driver nearly a year ago, according to court records.
Laronda “Sugar Mama” Robinson, 32, was held in the Clayton County Jail for almost a year unable to post bond and was indicted in March on felony murder, aggravated assault and aggressive driving in connection with the death of Karl Green of Morrow.
Robinson’s attorney, Reginald Greene, said Wednesday that the murder and aggravated assault charges were dropped. Greene said Robinson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charge of vehicular homicide.
Clayton County Assistant District Attorney Deah Warren said there were mitigating factors that led to the negotiated plea.
“The death of Karl Green was a horrible tragedy,” she said. “However, there were mitigating factors that led to the state’s need to offer a negotiated plea, such as the toxicology report of Mr. Green’s blood from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the ultimate issue of what caused Mr. Green to be forced from the road at the time of the crash.”
Greene said autopsy reports showed Green had traces of cocaine and marijuana in his system at the time of the accident and police also found marijuana in his cab.
Warren said she consulted with Green’s family before offering the plea to Robinson and her attorney, and Chief Judge Deborah Benefield accepted the terms of the deal.
“The defendant admitted responsibility for Mr. Green’s death and was ultimately sentenced to a total of four years, with 24 months incarceration and two years on probation,” said Warren.
Robinson will get credit for time served since her arrest last year.
Greene said the plea deal was fair.
“Once we dug deep and uncovered all of the facts, it was clear that this was not a murder case,” he said. “We maintained all along that my client was not a murderer and she feels vindicated with this plea.”
Clayton County Superior Court records show charges of reckless driving and aggressive driving were also dropped in the plea negotiation. Robinson pleaded guilty to battery in the confrontation with Green, according to records.
College Park police Officer David Crawford said at the time of her arrest last year that Robinson was known to frequent the Exxon on Old National Highway, selling counterfeit DVD movies and pornography out of her silver 2003 Mercedes SUV.
Apparently Robinson and Green argued at the gas station the night of the crash. Witnesses told police that Green circled the pumps in his Day and Night taxi while Robinson chased him on foot, spitting on and kicking his cab.
Crawford said when Robinson shouted at Green that she had a firearm and reached for her pocket, he left the store. Crawford said video surveillance and witness statements show that Robinson also left in her car, heading to I-85. At some point, Robinson passed Green and stopped suddenly in front, causing him to rear-end her SUV, said Crawford.
Green again got ahead of Robinson, who gave chase on the wet streets, said police. Crawford said Green was speeding away from Robinson in fear for his life, lost control and hit a tree. Green died from internal injuries, he said.
Robinson disputed part of the account, said Greene, alleging that she was purposely rear-ended by Green.
Robinson was taken to Atlanta Medical Center because she complained of injuries, and her SUV was impounded. Police reportedly found counterfeit copies of DVD movies and pornographic movies inside the Mercedes.
Based on those findings, Robinson was also indicted on charges of reproduction of recorded material and distribution of obscene material. She pleaded guilty to both those charges and was sentenced to two years probation for reproduction of recorded material, to be served consecutively with a 12-month sentence for distribution of obscene material and 12 months for battery.
Robinson could have gotten life in prison, had she been convicted of felony murder.