KEY WEST, January 17, 2020 – A Central Florida man faces up to life in prison after a jury convicted him on January 16th of several charges arising from a 2018 Key West home invasion that started out as a sex-for-hire incident.
Jason Robinson, 36, of Deltona was convicted of home-invasion robbery, burglary of a dwelling with an assault and battery upon an occupant, grand theft, and transporting another for the purposes of prostitution. He was acquitted of false imprisonment and deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution. His co-defendant, Whitney Mullins, pleaded out to lesser charges last year.
The jury took just under two hours to reach its verdicts after a two-day trial. Assistant State Attorneys Patrick Flanigan and Christina Cory represented the state. Sentencing is scheduled for February 19th before Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones. The burglary offense is punishable by up to life in prison and the home invasion is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
During the early morning hours of October 8, 2018, Key West police officers and detectives arrested Robinson and Mullins at a hotel on North Roosevelt Boulevard. Police had been called during the evening of October 7, 2018, to a White Street residence about the home invasion. They found the victim of the home invasion at the residence with a swollen face and bloody nose.
Evidence at trial established the victim found Mullins on an online escort site and called to request her services. Robinson dropped her off around 12:30 p.m. The victim testified he paid her $300, after which Mullins and he were together for an hour. After that encounter, Robinson returned and picked Mullins up. An hour or so later, the victim texted Mullins, asking her to return and she did so. The second encounter proceeded much as the first, with the victim paying Mullins $300 and spending an hour with her. Afterwards, Robinson again picked up Mullins from the victim’s residence.
The evidence established a third encounter was initiated by the victim. During the third visit, Mullins let Robinson inside the residence. Upon his entry, Robinson demanded money from the victim and struck him on the left side of his face. The victim testified he told Robinson he already paid Mullins another $300 for her services. Robinson also demanded the PIN numbers to the victim’s credit cards while Mullins searched and took items from the victim’s bedroom. The victim testified he told Robinson he didn’t know the PIN numbers. According to the victim and Mullins, Mullins obtained knives from the victim’s kitchen for Robinson. The victim testified Robinson held the knives while threatening the victim.
Robinson and Mullins took multiple items from the victim during the home-invasion robbery. Among the items alleged to have been stolen were the victim’s wallet with his driver’s license, four credit cards, a cell phone, the keys to the victim’s truck and house, the titles to the victim’s vehicles, a remote-controlled helicopter, a digital camera, power tools, and a vodka bottle filled with change. The license, credit cards, keys and cell phone were never found.
Upon questioning by the police, the victim provided police with the website he used to find and contact Mullins, who went by the name “Ginger” on the escort service website. The victim was also able to describe the vehicle that transported Mullins to and from the residence during the three encounters.
Police were able to identify Robinson as the registered owner of the phone number Mullins advertised on the website. From there, detectives were able to match a vehicle registered to Robinson with the vehicle described by the victim. Upon administering a photo line-up to the victim, the victim identified Robinson as the person who was with Mullins and who struck and robbed him.
Shortly thereafter, police located Robinson’s vehicle at the hotel. Inside the vehicle, in plain view, officers observed documents with the victim’s name on it. After checking with the hotel, officers were able to confirm Robinson was a registered guest. When officers knocked on the hotel door, the occupants refused to answer. Search warrants were obtained for the vehicle and hotel room.
Upon executing the warrants, police found Robinson and Mullins in the hotel room. Searches of the room and vehicle uncovered many of the items reported stolen by the victim, including the victim’s documents, camera, power tools and remote-controlled helicopter. The vodka bottle had been emptied of change and hidden in blankets in the hotel room. It also appeared that Robinson had shaved off the bulk of his beard in the time between the home-invasion robbery and the execution of the search warrant.
At first, Robinson and Mullins denied knowing anything about the home invasion but seconds later “placed themselves at the scene.” They were arrested and taken to jail.
Mullins, 26, pleaded no contest on June 24, 2019, to burglary of a dwelling, grand theft, false imprisonment and offering to commit prostitution. She received five years in prison as a suspended sentence and five years of drug offender probation with the special condition she spend 364 days in jail.
The victim was charged with soliciting a prostitute, pleaded out and received probation.