Co-Defendant Sentenced in Double Murder

Brian Jerome Robinson will spend 28 to 35 years in prison following his conviction for two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon during Burke County Superior Court on Monday, April 12, 2021.

Robinson, 37, of Connelly Springs, was given the active prison term by the Honorable Casey Viser, Superior Court Judge fromMecklenburg County, after he entered a guilty plea in connection with the September 2016 deaths of 29-year-old Spencer Jermain Murray and 35-year-old Albert Alexander Austin.

The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

Robinson is one of four co-defendants in the double murder. Two others – Icey Chenell Gooden and Brandy Nicole Davis –already have entered guilty pleas for their involvement and are serving active prison sentences. 

Gooden was sentenced to a prison term of 25 to 32 years in July 2019 for two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of first-degree kidnapping. Davis is serving eight to 11 years after her January 2020 conviction for two counts of accessory after the fact to murder. They both provided post-conviction interviews giving evidence against Robinson and the other male co-defendant.

Charges are still pending for the final male co-defendant, who is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

On September 18, 2016, a burned vehicle registered to Murray was found, and first responders confirmed there were human remains in the trunk. Family members were contacted, and they told investigators the vehicle belonged to Austin, Murray’s cousin. Neither individual could be reached.

The charred fragments of their bodies were found in the trunk of the burned vehicle, and the victims were identified through dental records.

Investigative findings revealed that Robinson and the male co-defendant robbed the two men and put them in the trunk of the vehicle before driving it to a deserted area and setting it on fire.They later attempted to burn items used in the robbery and murder that were found by investigators.

Autopsy findings show that the victims died from smoke inhalation and elevated carbon monoxide saturation that led to poisoning from inhaling the products of combustion.

Melanie Robinson and Scott Carico led the investigation for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, Burke County Fire Marshal’s Office, North Carolina License and Theft Bureau, Burke County Medical Examiner, Oak Hill Fire and Rescue, West End Fire and Rescue, and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Michelle Lippert and Lance Sigmon handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

CONTACT: Nathan Key
Phone: 828-695-6193