14-year-old Detroit Boy Charged as Adult in Slaying of Mother, Sentenced to 25-50 Years

On Friday, October 26, 14-year-old Joshua Smith was sentenced to 25-50 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Tamiko Andrea Robinson, in September. Smith is charged as an adult in the case, and also pleaded guilty to a felony firearm charge. He was originally charged with first-degree murder.

Chiko Lewis, Robinson’s fiancĂ©, testified in March at Smith’s preliminary examination that he heard gunshots as he slept in a back bedroom at Robinson’s home in the 5700 block of Burns on the night of February 27th. Lewis said that after hearing the gunshots, he tucked his 5-year-old daughter under his arm and attempted to escape, at which time he saw 36-year-old Robinson at the foot of the stairs. He said that she was bleeding, and had been struck by bullets. According to Lewis’ testimony earlier in 36th District Court, Robinson was gasping for breath and bleeding profusely.

Lewis claimed that after finding Robinson at the foot of the stairs, he noticed Smith standing above him on the staircase, pointing a shotgun directly at him. He said he started begging for his own life, saying, “please, please, please.”

News reports state that the courtroom was packed with about 50 students from Detroit Country Day, and that as Smith’s family spoke he wiped tears from his face with his T-shirt. Smith’s grandmother, Annie McKenzie, told the judge that Joshua had an insane moment, and that he was a good boy. She said he was not a killer, and that “I lost a daughter. Now I’m losing a grandson as well.”

The shooting allegedly occurred over a fight between Smith and his mother, who had told him not to hang out with boys that she considered to be thugs, or bring girls to her home. According to news reports the gun used in the shooting was Robinson’s fiancĂ©’s, and was kept in a locked home office which Smith allegedly broke in to.

This is an extremely sad situation, and one that Michigan homicide defense attorneys see all too often. A young boy with his entire life ahead of him will now spend most of his life behind bars.


If you have been charged with first- or second-degree murder, your freedom and future are hanging in the balance. Do not hesitate to contact an aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer who will vigorously defend your legal rights and work to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.