Randy Gale Robinson was sentenced Monday afternoon to a total of 40 years for the 2014 slaying of Angie Pipkin, who authorities say was murdered, dismembered and disposed of in the Great Pee Dee River.
“I wish I could hit rewind and go back but I can’t,” the 49-year-old Robinson told the judge, expressing remorse in a calm demeanor before sentencing.
Judge Steven John of the 15th Judicial Circuit sentenced Robinson to 30 years for voluntary manslaughter and 10 years for obstruction of justice in an Horry County courtroom. Sighs escaped the packed courtroom as the judge declared the sentence, which he said was based “only on the facts.”
Robinson will be given credit for the time he already has served since his detention began in March 2014.
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Thank God he’s not going to be able to get out. He’s going to have to be in there a long time to do what he did to my daughter. ... I just don’t see how somebody can do that to another human being.
Gail Pipkin, Angie’s Pipkin’s mother
Pipkin, a 32-year-old mother of two, was reported missing in January 2014. She was killed on the 17th of that month, her mother, Gail Pipkin, told the court.
Police said Robinson killed Pipkin at his Sullivan Drive home in the Inlet Estates subdivision of Murrells Inlet. After she was killed, authorities say Robinson dismembered her body and disposed of it in the Great Pee Dee River in Darlington County.
Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said cellphone records showed Pipkin was at Robinson’s home when she made her last communication.
Defense attorneys contend Robinson did not lure her to his home with the intent to murder her, referencing a communication Robinson had with Pipkin’s grandfather, telling him to come pick her up and two phone calls to police the night she was killed.
Brackett said Robinson called the police on Pipkin twice in December 2013 to report that she had taken his truck and bank card, but that the two had patched things up when Pipkin was called to his house the following month.
Robinson called a friend to help him dispose of what he claimed was a dismembered “hog” in January 2014, according to Brackett. That friend, Thomas Suggs, later reported to police that the remains Robinson pulled out of plastic bags to dump into the Great Pee Dee River were human, Brackett told the court.
Suggs, who wasn’t charged in the case, told police he and Robinson burned their clothes, a tarp, plastic bags and a trash container used in transporting the remains to the river, according to Brackett. Suggs showed police where the remains were dumped and other witnesses came forward to tell officers of Robinson’s “bizarre” behavior at a bar after Pipkin was reported missing. Brackett told the court the witnesses said Robinson was bragging that he knew how to kill someone with a blow to the throat.
Prosecutors also said a jailhouse informant told police Robinson confessed to killing Pipkin when he struck her a “little too hard” in her head, that she “got what she deserved” and that he dismembered her inside his garage. Brackett said a sales receipt and store surveillance footage showed that Robinson purchased a pressure washer after Pipkin’s murder and neighbors told police they thought it was odd to see him pressure washing his truck, garage and driveway in the middle of January.
Some of Pipkin’s remains were found four months later in a wooded area in Florence County at a private hunting camp about five miles south of the U.S. 76 bridge.
I wish I could hit rewind and go back but I can't.
Randy Gale Robinson
Robinson’s attorney, Morgan Martin, argued that Robinson loved Pipkin and did not start out that day in January with the mindset to kill her.
Why would he call the police twice that night if this was a sinister plot to murder? Martin argued.
Robinson called a police desk line at Horry County Police Department’s South Strand office that night.
Both calls went unanswered.
Robinson was arrested in March 2014 and charged with murder and obstruction of justice. His trial was slated to begin Monday, but Robinson pleaded guilty last week to voluntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice.
“We’ll never have full closure,” Taylor Pipkin said of her mother’s murder case.
In a tearful plea before the judge, Angie Pipkin’s daughters, Taylor and Grace, said they would never again feel their mother’s warm embrace. “She will never see me graduate from college, see us get married and have children of our own,” Taylor Pipkin said between sobs.
Robinson was given the state’s maximum sentence for manslaughter.
After the sentencing, Brackett said he wanted to spare Pipkin’s family the additional trauma a trial would create and that the family was happy with the plea arrangement that included a sentence that would keep Robinson behind bars for most of his life.
“I am very pleased that he got the maximum that they could give him. … I know it’s not bringing my daughter back,” Gail Pipkin said after the sentencing. “Thank God he’s not going to be able to get out. He’s going to have to be in there a long time to do what he did to my daughter. … I just don’t see how somebody can do that to another human being.”
“My mom was one of the best people that ever walked this earth,” Taylor Pipkin said after the hearing, encouraging others to tell loved ones how much they’re loved “because you never know when you’re going to have that last moment.”
Administrative Judge Larry Hyman recused the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office from the case in March because an attorney who now works for the Solicitor’s Office once worked for the Public Defender’s Office, and was involved with Robinson’s case.