SHREVEPORT, La. — Johnathan Robinson, the Shreveport man who tormented and then killed his girlfriend while it was live-streaming on social media, pleaded guilty Thursday. It was a plea agreement that was acceptable to his victim’s family, that imposed a sentence which all but assures he will die in prison, and also fulfilled his wish to plead guilty for what he did.
The plea came after Caddo prosecutors dropped their intention to seek a death sentence. Robinson, 37, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Rannita “Nunu” Williams, with 100 years tacked on for shooting at police officers.
Robinson admitted shooting Williams, 27, after he kicked in the door of her home on Natalie Street last April. Williams was shot with a rifle while she was streaming an apology live on Facebook to Robinson’s new girlfriend, authorities said.
After his sentencing was over and he was about to be led from the courtroom by bailiffs, Robinson asked to speak to his victim’s mother.
“I’m so sorry I did what I did,” he told Anita Williams, fighting back tears. Williams, who earlier had received an apology letter written from jail by Robinson, told him she accepted his apology and had forgiven him.
“I know I hurt a lot of people, myself,” Robinson said. “I hope one day you forgive me for what I did.”
“I forgave you already,” said the sobbing mother.
Robinson apologized to her a second time, and Anita Williams responded, “I accept your apology.”
Before he was escorted from the courtroom, Robinson added, “I’m sorry for the polices, too.”
One officer was hit in the wrist by a bullet fired by Robinson while he was inside of Rannita’s Williams’ home.
More than a dozen bailiffs were in the courtroom Thursday in case of an outburst by Robinson, who was shackled hands and feet.
Attorneys John Magrisso and Arvind Viswanathan, who represented Robinson on behalf of Baton Rouge Capital Conflict, said the plea agreement had been an ongoing process.
“Johnathan said everything that needed to be said,” Magrisso said.
Viswanathan said they were glad to see a “resolution for all families involved.”
Outside of the courthouse, Anita Williams admitted discussions of a plea deal had been ongoing for months but she did not tell anyone. Had Robinson been prosecuted for first-degree murder he would have faced a possible death sentence. Anita Williams said that’s not something she wanted.
“I didn’t believe in killing nobody. I never believed in killing nobody. Not just him, nobody. Not even an enemy. So why, why?” she said. “I’m glad justice has been served. Everything is gone. Everything’s OK. So I feel a lot better now. Now I can rest. Now me and my family can go on with our life, you know. It’s over with, it’s no more. So there’s nothing else to talk, the decision done been made between us and everybody else so we feel a lot better.”
She also said Robinson had reached out to at least three times, but she also didn’t disclose that to anyone.
“I forgive him. I forgive him. But I never will forget,” she said.
Robinson’s demeanor in the courtroom was similar to previous court hearings. From the outset of the case, Robinson had expressed profound remorse for what he did and had tried to plead guilty. Until Thursday, prosecutors wouldn’t agree because they had filed notice to seek a death sentence. A defendant cannot plead guilty to the death penalty.
In one of the previous court hearings Robinson implored Judge Emanuel to let him plead guilty and “get all this over with.”
In another, he sobbed as a detective recounted the crime; when members of the victim’s family began to cry and started walking out of the courtroom, the shackled Robinson tried to overturn the defense table, toppling backward to the floor and taking the chair with him. Bailiffs calmed him down before picking him up, putting him back in the chair and allowing the hearing to resume.