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Convicted Killer Faces Death Penalty

November 3, 2002

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OLATHE, Kan. (AP) _ Jurors recommended the death penalty Saturday for a man convicted of killing three women, including two whose bodies were found in barrels on his rural property.

John Robinson Sr. was convicted Tuesday of two counts of capital murder in the deaths of the two women _ with whom prosecutors say he had sadomasochistic sexual relationships _ and one count of first-degree murder in the case of a woman whose body was never found.

Robinson sat rocking in his chair with his hand on his face before the jury returned. He stood but showed little emotion as the verdict was read, the yellow barrels which entombed two of his victims in front of him.

Judge John Anderson III will formally sentence Robinson in a few months.

Attorneys remained under a gag order and could not comment on the sentence recommendation.

Robinson, 58, was convicted for the murders of Suzette Trouten, 27, and Izabela Lewicka, 21. Both women were killed after being lured to Kansas by Robinson to engage in sadomasochistic sexual relations.

Their bodies were discovered in June 2000 on Robinson’s rural property 60 miles south of Kansas City. Two days later, three more bodies were discovered in barrels in a storage locker rented by Robinson in Raymore, Mo.

With the Kansas trial complete, Robinson is expected to stand trial for the Missouri deaths as early as the spring 2003.

Robinson was also convicted of first-degree murder for the 1985 death of Lisa Stasi, 19. Her body was never found. Robinson will be sentenced for her death at a later date.

Trouten’s sister said the family was elated with the verdict and that the nearly three years of anguish were over.

``The really sad thing is that Suzette lost her life to stop this man,″ Dawn Trouten said. ``But he stopped.″

Neither Lewicka’s nor Robinson’s family was present.

Robinson’s defense has maintained that he was incapable of committing the murders, pointing to the unidentified fingerprints and palm prints found where the bodies were stashed. They also said Robinson suffered from mental disease, but said they were unable to properly evaluate his condition.

The case began in March 2000, when Trouten’s family notified Kansas police that she was missing after coming to Kansas, purportedly to take a job caring for Robinson’s father. The investigation continued, with officials linking Robinson to the 1985 Stasi disappearance.

He was arrested in June 2000 on charges of sexual battery filed by two women with whom Robinson had engaged in sadomasochistic sex at Kansas City area hotels. The charges were amended in subsequent days following the discovery of the bodies in Linn County and Missouri.

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