The family of Jason Robb shared the devastation his murderer caused on Wednesday before his ex-wife was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Mercedes Robb, 35, of Turtlecreek Twp. pleaded guilty to murdering her ex-husband in November 2016 as their children slept.
Jason Robb was was the owner of J & J Fabricating, developer of a system used to manage video monitors in Costco stores across the country. He had recently launched another business, the Frankenfries food truck.
He had just reopened their divorce case, citing her diminishing mental condition in a motion seeking full custody.
“She had so many other options she could have taken to resolve this issue,” the victim’s father, Jared Robb, said.
The fatal shooting also left fatherless his infant daughter by fiancee Amanda Palmgren.
“I am just disgusted. My life and all of our children’s lives will never be the same,” Palmgren said during her statement.
The victim’s father said the impact went even further.
“I bet there are 20 or 30 people who were devastated from this,” Jared Robb said during a tearful statement.
Mother Paulette Robb said she was dissatisfied by the plea.
“This is not justice,” she said. “You have no soul and will burn in hell for this.”
After listening to these statements, Mercedes Robb declined to a statement, although her lawyer, Andrea Ostrowski, said she had written one she planned to read in court.
Ostrowski said Mercedes Robb suffered from a mental delusion, yet understood enough to agree to take responsibility for what she had done. The lawyer said Mercedes Robb could work on her mental problems and rebuilding family relationships while in prison.
For aggravated murder, the former Air Force veteran and dental office worker faced 20 years to life in prison, 25 years to life in prison or 30 years to life in prison. She also faced three more years in prison time because she used a gun.
Robb has been in the county jail or mental health treatment since Nov. 3, when she called 911 to report shooting Jason Robb, 35, as he waited to pick up their children for school.
In a press release, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Mercedes Robb intentionally let the children sleep and shot her husband several times when he arrived for the pick-up.
Afterward, Fornshell said she also had asked the night before the shooting for a co-worker to help her learn how to fire the murder weapon, “ostensibly for protection,” and apparently went home and practiced.
Fornshell said Mercedes Robb’s lawyer had contacted his office about a plea bargain in recent weeks. He said he was willing to accept a plea to aggravated murder, provided she agreed to spend more than 20 years in prison, the minimum if convicted of aggravated murder.
He said Jason Robb’s family was uninterested in participating in a jury trial.
Judge Robert Peeler applauded the victim’s father’s intention to “turn this into a tribute to your son” by raising the three children with Palmgren.
“I did want Mercedes to know, ‘I loved you. I treated you like a daughter,’” the father added.
He discredited Mercedes Robb’s unfounded claims against her ex-husband and accused her of child abuse.
“I don’t know how you can get any more abuse than for a child to be dissolved of their parents in one day,” he said.