Asheville man charged in domestic violence murder

An Asheville woman was stabbed to death Aug. 16 outside a Montford home. Police say the killing stemmed from a domestic dispute and have charged Rodney Lamar Robinson with first-degree murder.

According to a statement from the Asheville Police Department, officers responded to a call at 72 Woodlawn Ave. that afternoon reporting that "a male and female were engaged in a fight and that the male had a knife and was attempting to stab the female." As officers were on their way, they heard further word that the man, Robinson, had chased the woman, Angela Lorraine Hart, from his residence towards Young Street.

EMTs found Hart in the front yard of 31 1/2 West Chestnut St. and pronounced her dead on the scene.

Police found Robinson walking back from Young Street towards his home, and according to their report, he "had blood on him from the victim and made statements to responding officers, taking responsibility for the homicide." Robinson and Hart were reportedly involved in a romantic relationship and had recently been arguing.

Robinson has a long criminal record, including charges of assault with a deadly weapon and communicating threats in 1990, an assault on a female charge in 2008, and multiple drug charges. He has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held in the Buncombe County jail without bond. The homicide was the first in Asheville this year.

Helpmate, a local agency that provides emergency shelter, counseling and assistance to domestic violence survivors and their children, has seen an increase in activity over the past year with the economy faltering.

"We've definitely seen a rise in people needing our help and in the length of time they stay here," Executive Director Valerie Collins told Xpress. "This is in line with national data. The more times someone has been unemployed, the more of a risk they are to inflict domestic violence."

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