ATHENS, Ga. -- An Athens woman claimed self-defense and beat an attempted murder rap last month because authorities can’t find the man she nearly killed — a man connected to two women who may have come to violent ends.
Sharon Ann Robinson, 38, was arrested in May 2010, after she kicked in the door of a home on Fairview Street and stabbed two people, Jimmy Lee Jackson and Oliver Della Lucas.
She stabbed Jackson in his inner thigh, severing the femoral artery, and he would have died if an Athens-Clarke police officer didn’t use his hand to keep the artery clamped until Jackson got to the hospital, police said.
Lucas — Jackson’s girlfriend — was slashed and stabbed in the arm.
Police initially charged Robinson with aggravated assault, but a prosecutor who reviewed the case indicted her on additional charges of criminal attempt to commit murder and burglary.
As prosecutors prepared to take Robinson’s case to trial, Lucas went missing.
Then Jackson apparently left town, while police investigated the woman’s disappearance.
Jackson reported Lucas missing on March 2, three days after he said Lucas stormed out of the house during a dispute about alcohol, according to police.
She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
In 2004, while Jackson was in simultaneous relationships with Lucas and Terri Lynn Hunter, Hunter went missing, and her skeletal remains later were found a couple of miles from her home on Bonnie Lane off Fourth Street.
An examination of the remains found no signs of foul play, but police have viewed the death as suspicious; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic anthropologist who did the exam said someone can be stabbed or shot without any bones getting damaged.
Witnesses last saw Hunter alive at an apartment complex west of downtown, where Jackson picked her up to drive her home, police said.
That same day, a neighbor heard the couple arguing inside Hunter’s home, and Jackson yell, “I’ll kill you,” Hunter’s daughter told the Athens Banner-Herald after the woman’s remains were found.
Dekeisha Hunter reported her mother missing after she went to her apartment and found signs of a violent struggle: furniture was overturned, food was splattered on walls, a bloody knife sat on a shelf, and dried blood and a bloody footprint was on the floor outside Terri Lynn Hunter’s bedroom.
Police questioned Jackson several times, but he maintained he had nothing to do with the woman’s death.
After Lucas disappeared, the word on the street was Jackson was responsible.
“Everybody believes he done to my mama like he done to Terri Lynn,” Della Mae Hall told the Banner-Herald, explaining Jackson had violent relationships with both women.
“We all believe she’s dead, and if you find anything, it will be bones,” Lucas’ daughter said.
When preparing to defend Sharon Robinson on charges she stabbed Jackson and Lucas, an attorney filed a notice in Superior Court that Robinson planned to claim she acted in self-defense, and that Jackson’s history of violence would be used as evidence to support the claim.
In addition to several assaults, Assistant Public Defender Michael Brooks planned to introduce evidence that Jackson murdered both Hunter and Lucas, according to the court document he filed on Nov. 9.
Brooks didn’t respond to a request for comment, nor did his boss at the public defender’s office.
Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman didn’t know what evidence the defense attorney had to support a claim Jackson murdered the two women, because investigators don’t have any.
He speculated that the attorney might have planned to use hearsay from the circle of people who knew Jackson, Hunter and Lucas.
“All I can say is Ms. Hunter’s death is suspicious, but the autopsy did not provide a cause of death, and it’s not ruled a homicide,” Holeman said.
“As far as Ms. Lucas goes, we haven’t located a body, so that case is still open as a missing person and not a homicide, unless some evidence is provided or comes forward that says it was.”
After Lucas disappeared and Jackson apparently skipped out of town, a prosecutor dropped the attempted murder charge against Robinson because neither of the victims was available to rebut the self-defense claim.
“Without Ms. Lucas and Mr. Jackson to testify, the state does not believe it would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Robinson) acted with an intent to murder,” Assistant District Attorney Reed Newland said in a motion to dismiss the charge.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Robinson was allowed to invoke the Alford Doctrine, in which she maintained her innocence while conceding there might be enough evidence for a jury to convict her of stabbing Lucas and Jackson.
Robinson was convicted of two counts each of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, and on Nov. 23 a judge sentenced her to five years in prison and 15 years on probation.