Polk sheriff: Lakeland man attacked deputy while being arrested for girlfriend's murder

A Lakeland man is accused of murdering his girlfriend and burying her body, then attacking a Polk deputy who tried to arrest him.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Auburndale police received a call from the mother of 37-year-old Jason Robinson around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, reporting that her son had just told her that he had killed his girlfriend.

Auburndale police then requested that the Polk County Sheriff's Office perform a well-being check on the girlfriend at the couple's residence on US-98 North, near Keen Road, in unincorporated Polk County.

When a deputy arrived at the couple's RV, he made contact with the Robinson outside. He provided a false name and date of birth, but the deputy recognized Robinson because he had looked up his photograph prior to arrival.

RELATED: Polk school cafeteria worker charged with murder, accused of stabbing boyfriend to death

As the deputy began to detain Robinson with handcuffs, the sheriff's office said Robinson violently attacked the deputy. Robinson managed to remove the deputy's radio and Taser, and attempted to choke the deputy.

Two witnesses saw the struggle and came to the deputy's aid, and assisted with securing Robinson in handcuffs.

"I can’t express my gratitude enough to the two witnesses who jumped in to aid my deputy during a violent fight with a very violent man," Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "Had they not gotten involved, this could have been much worse than it already is."

Jason Robinson

Photo via PCSO

Other deputies soon arrived on scene and began searching for Robinson's girlfriend. They noticed two chairs and a small table sitting on a pallet next to the RV door, with freshly disturbed dirt on the pallet.

RELATED: Sarasota man jailed after suspicious girlfriend finds child porn on phone, police say

The deputies located the victim buried under the pallet. The homicide unit and crime scene unit then responded to the scene to continue the investigation.

Robinson is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, battery on a law enforcement officer, tampering with evidence, resisting with violence, depriving an officer with means of communication and protection, and giving false identification to a law enforcement officer.

The sheriff's office said Robinson's prior criminal history includes 19 felonies and five misdemeanors in the state of Florida. He has been incarcerated in the Florida state prison on four occasions, in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2020, and he was most recently released in January of 2021.

Robinson had previously been charged in Florida with kidnapping/false imprisonment, aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sex offender violations. The sheriff's office said he also has an extensive criminal history in Illinois, Delaware, Mississippi and North Carolina.