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Communication lines remain closed

Valessa Robinson's guardian tells the judge there should be no communication between his charge and Adam Davis.

By SUE CARLTON

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 17, 1998


TAMPA -- A Carrollwood teen and her boyfriend accused of murdering the girl's mother appeared in a courtroom Friday for a hearing on whether he should be allowed to send her letters in jail.

But there were no longing looks, no whispered conversations as Valessa Robinson, 15, sat at one end of a jury box and Adam Davis, 19, hung his head at the other.

The couple, accused along with their friend, Jon Whispel, of murdering real estate agent Vicki Robinson, came to court so Davis' lawyer could ask the judge to withdraw an order forbidding contact between the two.

Though Circuit Judge Cynthia Holloway agreed to rescind that order, Davis and Robinson won't be communicating any time soon.

Rick Escobar, the lawyer assigned to look out for Robinson as her court-appointed guardian, has told jail officials to make sure there is no contact between the two.

That means no letters, and no telephone calls to someone outside the jail who can hook them up for a three-way call.

"There would be no benefit for Valessa," said Escobar, who said he is acting as a court-appointed parent. "I know her family feels as I do."

Davis' attorney, Mike Benito, said his client is aware that communication with Valessa would be monitored, but that Davis still wants to be allowed to write and talk to her.

"He just wants to tell her he loves her," Benito said.

Though Valessa appeared to cry briefly during the hearing as her attorneys surrounded her, Escobar said she agreed with his decision Friday.

"I think for the first time today she's certainly listening," he said. "She has agreed with my recommendation there be no contact."

The trial is scheduled to begin in January in the murder of Mrs. Robinson, who would have celebrated her 50th birthday today.

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