Valessa Robinson, who was a 15-year-old when she helped murder her own mother, was released from state prison early Friday.
Department of Corrections officials confirmed that Robinson was let out of Homestead Correctional Institution shortly after midnight, having reached the end of her third-degree murder sentence for the 1998 death of Vicki Robinson, a Tampa Realtor.
Robinson was killed in her Carrollwood home. At the time, she was struggling to get control of her daughter, who was acting out and dating Adam Davis, a 19-year-old with a criminal past.
The night of the murder, Valessa, Davis and another friend, Jon Whispel, went to a Denny's restaurant and hatched the plan to kill Valessa's mom. According to state records, the three stole Vicki Robinson's van and tried to buy heroin. Davis bought a syringe, and back at the house put Vicki Robinson in a sleeper hold and injected her with bleach. When that didn't kill her, he stabbed her multiple times.
Six days after Vicki Robinson disappeared, the three youths were arrested in a high-speed chase in Texas. Vicki Robinson's body was found in a garbage can in a woods near her home.
In 2000, a Hillsborough judge sentenced Valessa Robinson to 20 years in prison for the killing, plus grand theft of the van.
So why is she being released now?
Robinson was not expected to get out of prison until 2015. Florida law mandates that inmates serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before they are eligible for release.
But earlier this year, her release was moved up to February. State corrections officials say release dates can change for several reasons. Robinson received credit for the time she served in jail before her conviction, and she earned 1,146 days of gain time for good behavior.
Robinson has been disciplined in prison over the years, but also took classes. She was enrolled in ArtSpring, a program that uses arts-based education to promote self-betterment. In the program, she served as a mentor and intern instructor. She also was enrolled in two separate post-prison transition programs.
Davis is on death row. Whispel was sentenced to 25 years and is currently scheduled to be released in 2020.
Valessa Robinson registered an address in Ocean Springs, Miss., with the Department of Corrections, where she has stated she will live upon her release from prison. The address is the home of family members.