Man sentenced to prison after Kanawha judge says he was trying to further abuse victim during court hearing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit sent a Virginia man to prison Monday for choking a Kanawha County woman and holding her daughter against her will last year.

Christopher Robbins

Christopher Robbins, 43, of Rockingham, Va., told Tabit he wanted to apologize to the victim and Tabit allowed him to begin speaking but cut him off after about 30 seconds.

“That’s enough sir because this is quintessential to abuse,” Tabit said.

She later sentenced Robbins to 1-5 years in prison on previous guilty plea to strangulation and 1-3 on a previous guilty plea to attempted child concealment. The sentences will run consecutively.

Tabit further scolded Robbins for how he addressed the victim Monday.

“As opposed to apologizing to a victim in the context of these proceedings as we, as judges, afford during a dispositional hearing, you are attempting to speak with her, manipulate her and continue what I believe is a pattern of domestic abuse,” Tabit told Robbins.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit

Tabit said Robbins was not remorseful during the pre-sentence investigation.

Robbins’ attorney was asking for home confinement and drug treatment. Tabit denied it.

“She could have been killed. That child could have been killed or seriously injured,” Tabit said. “I’m sorry sir, but there’s a punitive aspect to what we do and it’s difficult oftentimes to make a determination to make an appropriate sentence…but it’s not difficult (in this case),” Tabit said.

Robbins was given credit for time served. The plea agreement says he can have no contact with the victims directly or indirectly for 10 years.

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