Athens man accused of kidnapping infant denied bail a second time


Justin Matthew Robinson

Joe Johnson

An Athens man has been denied bail a second time since he was arrested a half-year ago for allegedly stealing a car that had an infant inside.

Justin Matthew Robinson, 23, of Dowdy Road has been detained at the Clarke County Jail since he was arrested on March 7.

A grand jury subsequently indicted him for auto theft and kidnapping.

Robinson’s arrest stemmed from a Feb. 10 incident in which he was walking past a home on Windy Hill Way and saw a car that was unlocked and running in the driveway, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

He stole the car without realizing an 11-month-old girl was in a car seat inside the vehicle, according to Robinson’s defense attorney, David Crowe. “Kidnapping is a specific intent crime,” Crowe said. “Mr. Robinson had no intent to kidnap this child."

After realizing the child was in the car, Robinson said he parked the vehicle at Home Depot on Epps Bridge Parkway in Oconee County and waited in the parking lot until the car and child were located by police, according to Crowe.

Detectives were able to identify Robinson as the car thief with the assistance of members of the public who responded to a Facebook posting of the suspect’s image from surveillance video footage, Athens-Clarke County police said.

Robinson, who did not have a history of violent offenses was denied bail on March 20 and Sept.11.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Justin needs mental health treatment but he’s not getting any in jail,” Crowe said.

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