TAMPA — Valessa Robinson, once a curly-haired teenager infamous for the role she played in the murder of her mother, is scheduled to be freed early from prison Friday.
Robinson is 30 now with cropped hair and hollow cheekbones, almost unrecognizable from the 15-year-old face behind one of Tampa's most chilling crimes.
Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary confirmed Robinson's release date, which is more than a year earlier than originally expected.
Friday's release is subject to change pending several factors including gain time or review, Cary said in an email message.
"But as of this time, that is the date," she wrote Monday.
Robinson is serving her sentence at Homestead Correctional Institution in Miami-Dade County.
In 2000, a Hillsborough County judge sentenced Robinson to 20 years in prison for third-degree murder in the death of her mother, Vicki Robinson, plus grand theft of a motor vehicle.
Vicki Robinson, a 49-year-old real estate agent, was murdered in her Carrollwood home on June 27, 1998. Valessa Robinson, her boyfriend, Adam Davis and another friend, Jon Whispel, teamed up to kill her.
Under the law, Robinson had to serve 85 percent of her sentence, two years of which she served awaiting trial. She was not expected to get out of prison until 2015. Earlier this year, her release had been moved up to February. Release dates can change based on several factors. Robinson has been disciplined in prison over the years, but was also taking classes.
Davis is on death row. Whispel was sentenced to 25 years and is currently scheduled to be released in 2020.
Back in 1998, Vicki Robinson had struggled to get control of her 15-year-old daughter, who was acting out and dating Davis, a 19-year-old with a criminal past. The night of the murder, the teens went to a Denny's restaurant and hatched the plan to kill Vicki Robinson.
According to state records, the three went back to the house, took out Vicki Robinson's van, and tried to buy heroin and a syringe. 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 from her home, the three youths were arrested in a high-speed chase in Texas.
Vicki Robinson's body was found in a garbage can in the woods near her home.
Just before the murder, she had planned to send her troubled daughter to a Christian residential program called Steppin' Stone Farm.