ANATOMY OF A TRAGEDY
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
WORCESTER – At age 15, Dylan Robinson is the youngest person to be tried in Otsego County Court for murder.
The OHS student allegedly shot and killed his father, Kenneth Robinson, 53, during a burglary Thursday, Oct. 10, at the father’s mobile home on Head Road, Town of Worcester.
State police said four other teenagers and a 32-year-old Oneonta man were with him, looking to rob Robinson of $5,000 in cash and marijuana that Dylan had said were in the house.
Once inside, Dylan woke his father, nudging him with the barrel of the gun, and when he tried to wrestle the gun away, the son shot his father, once in the chest and once in the head.
“It doesn’t matter that some of them didn’t pull the trigger; they’re just as guilty.”
Dylan, along with Alexander Borgreen, 16, and Anais Soto, 15, appeared in front of County Judge John Lambert on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Cooperstown. The three are charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary.
“The facts established that Robinson, Borgreen and Soto were in the residence at the time of the shooting,” District Attorney John Muehl told Lambert. “They all had weapons. It doesn’t matter that some of them didn’t pull the trigger; they’re just as guilty.”
All three are Oneonta High School students.
Robinson, 53, was shot twice with a .30-06 rifle.
Soto – Muehl said she stood lookout out front during the burglary – sobbed in the courtroom, while Alex and Dylan made no outward displays of emotion.
Muehl is filing the paperwork to have the three charged as adults.
Two other teens, Alexis Lotterman, 16, Walton, and Tatiana Febo, 17, Downsville, were accused of burglary. “No evidence shows Lotterman was in the residence or that she even knew what the plan was,” said Muehl.
Though Alexis was arraigned with the other teens, Tatiana was arrested and arraigned Tuesday, Oct. 22. Muehl alleged that she drove the getaway car to and from Robinson’s house. Both were released to the custody of their parents and will likely be charged as juveniles, said Muehl.
At one point during Wednesday’s hearing, Alexis mouthed “I love you” to her family, gathered in the courtroom. Her attorney, Paul Madison, brought her a handful of tissues, and she put her head down on the table and wept.
“Alexis, Ace, Alex, Tatiana and D-Money”
The night of the shooting, the teens gathered at 37 Fairview Ave., Apartment 2½, Oneonta, occupied by Nicolas Meridy, 32, to plan the robbery, State Police Investigator Ronald Lussi told Town Justice William Fisher at Meridy’s hearing in Worcester Town Court.
“Did Mr. Meridy tell you who was involved in the planning?” Muehl asked.
“Alexis, Ace, Alex, Tatiana and D-Money,” said Lussi. “The defendant was unable to provide last names.”
“Ace” is believed to be Soto, “D-Money” Dylan.
After the planning session, Tatiana drove them to the scene, where Dylan opened the door and let Meridy and Alex in the home, Lussi testified.
Soto stood watch at the door, while Alexis and Tatiana waited in the car, Muehl said.
Once inside, according to Lussi’s account, Dylan went to the bedroom where his father was sleeping alongside Dylan’s 5-year-old half-brother, and woke his father with the shotgun in hand; when a struggle ensued, the son shot his father twice.
During a 4½-hour interrogation, Meridy told Lussi that Dylan struck him with the gun during the struggle, “causing the gash on his forehead,” the investigator testified.
Meridy had two guns on him, but told Lussi that, after the shooting, he went outside and waited in the car for Alex and Dylan to exit the home.
State Police Investigator Lester Burton was the first trooper to arrive at the scene, and found Robinson lying dead on the threshold.
Robinson’s other son, 12, was asleep in his bedroom.
Attorney Andy Puritz, representing Meridy, did not call any witnesses. “There is no evidence that my client entered without permission,” he said. “The deceased’s son let him into the home.”
“That’s not permission for robbery,” said Muehl. “He admitted to being let into the house in order to rob it, that he had guns and during that robbery, Kenneth Robinson was killed.”
Fisher sided with Muehl and transferred the case to Otsego County Court. He remanded Meridy back to the Otsego County Jail without bail.
“He told everyone he was going to kill his dad, and then he did.”
The police believe that Robinson’s death was part of a botched robbery. But, when the hearing ended, his niece, Stephanie, said she thinks otherwise.
“I think Dylan went in there with the intent of killing his dad,” she said. “He told everyone he was going to kill his dad, and then he did.”
During the hearing, Stephanie had sat next to Kenneth’s girlfriend, Jennifer Ives, comforting her while she wept audibly. Both held a photo of Robinson and battery-operated candles in their laps.
“Dylan stole those guns,” said Stephanie, “He knew that his dad didn’t have any money or weed there, and he led everyone there to kill his dad.”
They held the photos again outside the courthouse as Meridy was led past them and into the Sheriff’s transport van.
“Kenneth was an amazing man,” said Stephanie. “But it doesn’t matter who killed him or why. He’s still gone.”