Man who pleaded guilty to murdering Petersburg tow truck driver changes plea

The Tri-Cities

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The man who pleaded guilty to murdering a tow truck driver in Petersburg has changed his mind. 

Anton Robinson was scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, but instead, withdrew his guilty plea and now wants a trial.

Robinson accepted plea deal earlier this year dropping the charge from first to second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to shooting and killing 42-year-old Elwood Humphries.

Humphries was repossessing Robinson’s car in January 2018 when he was shot in the head. 

Family and friends of Humphries attended Thursday’s court hearing, some flying in from Florida, hoping that justice would finally be served … only to be disappointed. 

Humphries was a father, recent grandfather, and towed for River City Recovery for four years.

According to court documents, Robinson believes he received inadequate or constitutionally deficient legal advice from his lawyer, who was taken off the case Thursday. 

Robinson also believes his former lawyer did not use certain avenues of defense adequately. Robinson also claims he was not read his Miranda Rights by detectives at the time of his interrogation, that DNA evidence collected from a cigarette butt found at the crime scene did not match his, and the shot that killed Humphries was “one in a million” and would have been impossible to make without professional training. 

None of these claims were used by his defense, court records show. 

Robinson has been appointed a new lawyer. 

A judge will now have to accept or deny his guilty withdrawal. 

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