James Robertson: Where is the Killer Now?

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Tagged as one of the most feared men in the prison system, James Robertson is a long-time inmate whose life and crimes are uncovered in the episode ‘Robertson’ of ‘World’s Most Evil Prisoners.’ Incarcerated early in his life, trouble followed Robertson from a very young age as he found himself on the wrong side of the law after a botched burglary attempt. His run-in with authority continued behind bars as the Florida inmate racked up several charges of aggravations during his time in prison, extending his initial sentencing period. After a new cellmate moved in with him in 2008, Robertson murdered him and later sought the death penalty for his actions.

James Robertson Was Imprisoned at a Young Age

James Robertson was born to a lower-middle-class family and raised on the east side of Orlando, Florida. As a kid, he would change schools often, moving from one to another, where he was exposed to a diverse neighborhood of people. Reportedly, his parents were mostly absent in his upbringing, leading to further upheaval in his life. In Junior High, he fell into truant behavior and started skipping classes. Robertson became used to street life, falling into a party and drug habit. He engaged in minor thefts, scoping out houses where he might be able to procure money for his drugs. Following a plan to rob some speakers at a local business near his house, Robertson was caught by the security guards at the facility, who sent him off to prison.

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Robertson was jailed for 10 years for attempted burglary and aggravated assault. He was 17 at the time. Over the next few decades, he added several years to his sentence by repeatedly engaging in acts of assault and violence behind bars. His antics were so challenging to control that the prison officials who were in charge would regularly have him confined in isolation. He spent 20 years in close management, also known as solitary confinement, where he felt his rights and privileges had been taken away from him unfairly.  His initial sentence of 10 years was later extended to over 100 years due to the accumulation of several charges on his rap sheet.

Robertson Killed His Cellmate and Tried to Kill an Officer

Frustrated and enraged at the treatment he was handed out in the Charlotte Correctional Institution in Florida, James Robertson formulated a plan to get himself placed on death row, a haven from the punishments meted out in close management. In December 2008, the inmate pounced on Frank Hart, his older cellmate who had been sentenced for committing sexual battery and failing to register as a sex predator. With the aid of a makeshift garrote, which he fashioned out of socks, Robertson strangled Hart. There was no provocation from the latter in the physical struggle. Robertson had premeditated the kill just to be sentenced to death on the charges of first-degree murder.

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In the hearing, Robertson was charged with second-degree murder instead of first, as he wanted. When offered a plea agreement, which would exchange his life sentence for a guilty plea, he rejected it by persisting with his demand to be charged with first-degree murder. In October of 2011, while being held at Charlotte County Jail for his court hearings, he attacked a county jail officer with a makeshift weapon. He was charged with attempted murder for the incident. Exactly a year later, in October, he was indicted for first-degree murder, to which he pleaded guilty. During the proceedings, Robertson even switched his lawyer to ensure they followed up on his demands for the death penalty.

Robertson is Placed on Death Row and Awaiting Execution

After his 3-year legal battle with the state, James Robertson got his wish on December 18, 2012, when he was sentenced to death. Seeking an end to his miserable times in solitary confinement and the physical frailties creeping up with age, he was satisfied with the verdict. Robertson was placed on death row in the Florida State Prison at 23916 North-West 83rd Avenue, Raiford, in Union County. He continues to serve his sentence in the facility. The death row inmate remains steadfast in his desire for execution.

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However, there has been no date set for his lethal injection yet. He may have to wait a few more years for his death penalty to be carried out. The long history of infractions, his run-ins with the prison officials, and his time in close management have made him enjoy the relative comforts of death row. Here, he is reportedly treated to his personal nurse, TV, a sense of camaraderie, and peace and quiet, which he longed for in his previous stint. With age catching up to him, he is glad to be out of the firing line of danger as he has witnessed older inmates being harassed by others.

Robertson doesn’t wish to be one of those being preyed upon. He has served 13 years on death row since his sentence, admitting that the murder of Frank Hart was a means to an end for him to be handed the death penalty. While his anger and rage have mellowed over the years, the Florida inmate has no interest in appealing against his death sentence. He awaits his execution in the relative luxury of his safe haven, biding his time until the state hands him his final and ultimate punishment.

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