A 31-year-old cold case came to an end Thursday as a Ranger man was sentenced to 35 years in prison in the killing of a teen whose body was found with her hands and feet bound in rural Parker County.
Ricky Lee Adkins, 61, pleaded no contest to the charge of murder in the beating death of 19-year-old Wendy Robinson in July 1987 near Lake Weatherford.
Robinson was raped, fought for her life and then was killed when she was hit in the head with a rock, authorities said. Through the investigation, detectives had a sketch developed of the suspects involved in the slaying, but they never developed leads.
In January 2016, detectives Kevin Hilliard and Troy Luecke reworked the case and developed new leads that led to Adkins’ arrest.
“We were glad that we could finally get justice for the Robinson family,” Parker County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said in a Thursday news release.
Adkins will be eligible for parole in 2025 because of the parole laws that were in effect in 1987, prosecutors said.
Swain declined to comment Thursday about any other suspects in the case, but he said no one else was in custody.
Adkins told Texas Ranger Jim Holland in an interview that he and two other men met Robinson at the lake, near an area known as “The Wall.” Robinson, a 1986 Weatherford High School graduate, was finishing her last summer term at Weatherford College.
The four of them went to Tarrant County for beer and marijuana, but they returned to Parker County.
The men wanted to have sex with her, but she said no, Adkins told the Texas Ranger. Adkins admitted that he and another man sexually assaulted her, and she fought for her life. Adkins said one of the other men picked up a rock and hit her on the head after which they disposed of the body.
A man fishing in Lake Worth found Robinson’s billford in November 1987. Divers found other items belonging to her in the lake.
Swain noted that the work of the detectives, the Texas Ranger and Parker County Assistant District Attorney Abby Packe led to Adkins’ conviction.
“We plan to write the parole board and do everything that we can to oppose Adkins’ parole,” Packe said. “We will remind them that he has a conviction for aggravated sexual assault back in 1995, which, combined with his murder conviction, paints a picture of a very violent, very dangerous man 20 years ago.”
On Thursday, several members of Robinson’s family were in court for sentencing along with a few school classmates and numerous law enforcement officials.
In a victim impact statement, Jim Robinson, Wendy’s father, told Adkins he had prayed 30 years “for this day.”
“I cannot imagine the horrors that you put my daughter through,” Jim Robinson said in his statement. “You are a threat as long as you have breath in your body.”
Her father told Adkins he would face God’s judgment and “remain in the pit of hell forever ... constantly tormented by the things you did in your life.”