- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 26, 2002

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) More than two years after the gruesome discovery of women's bodies stuffed into barrels on a rural Kansas property, the defense rested yesterday in the multiple-murder case of John E. Robinson Sr.

Mr. Robinson's attorneys rested their case after having called only three witnesses. They said they didn't have enough time to prepare a sufficient defense.

"The jury will hear nothing about how crazy this man is," said attorney Sean O'Brien. He said Mr. Robinson, 58, had been on suicide watch for the better part of the three-week trial. Mr. Robinson didn't testify. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, saying Mr. Robinson killed at least six women three of them in Kansas in a scheme that included sadomasochistic sex with some of the victims and the adoption of the infant daughter of one.

He also faces charges in Missouri in the deaths of three of the women, whose bodies were found in barrels at a storage locker about 20 miles southeast of Kansas City, Mo.

The Kansas trial involves the deaths of Suzette Trouten, 27, who moved to Kansas from Michigan in 2000, and Izabela Lewicka, 21, a Polish immigrant and former Purdue University student; and the 1985 disappearance of Lisa Stasi, 19, who had an infant daughter.

The bodies of Miss Trouten and Miss Lewicka were found in barrels on Mr. Robinson's rural property in Linn County, about 60 miles south of Kansas City. Miss Stasi has never been found.

The only witnesses called by the defense testified about Miss Trouten.

Sharon LaPrad, owner of a Monroe, Mich., home health care company, said Miss Trouten worked for her off and on for nine years before leaving to take a job in Kansas, presumably to care for Mr. Robinson's father. The job was to involve world travel and a $60,000 salary.

John Stapleton, Miss Trouten's landlord in Monroe, said Miss Trouten told him that she had cancer and was moving to Kansas for treatment. He also testified that Miss Trouten was interested in sadomasochism.

"She told me she was going to serve masters," Mr. Stapleton said.

A hotel housekeeper testified about seeing Miss Trouten in Kansas with a man who didn't fit Mr. Robinson's description.

The defense argued in opening statements Oct. 7 that Mr. Robinson's sexual habits don't make him a murderer and that others had opportunities to commit the crimes.

Among the prosecution witnesses was Mr. Robinson's wife, Nancy, who talked about a day in 1985 when her husband brought home a baby that was adopted the next day by his brother.

Prosecutors believe that baby was Miss Stasi's daughter.

Another prosecution witness testified that she was battered during a four-day sadomasochistic encounter with Mr. Robinson in April 2000 at a hotel near Kansas City.

Judge John Anderson III dismissed an aggravated sexual battery charge against Mr. Robinson involving the woman. He dismissed a similar charge in 2001. "The evidence, if anything, got thinner," Judge Anderson said.

In Missouri, Mr. Robinson is accused of killing Beverly Bonner, 49, of Cameron, Mo.; and Sheila Faith, 45, and her daughter Debbie, 16, both formerly of California. Their bodies were found in a storage locker in June 2000, three days after Mr. Robinson's arrest in Kansas.

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