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Jim Nichols, Plain Dealer Reporter
A Cleveland woman who tried to kill her two children in a bloody, psychotic fit was freed from prison Thursday after serving only a third of her three-year sentence.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul granted shock probation to 42-year-old Miriam Robinson after a court-ordered psychological review concluded she had made considerable progress addressing her mental illness and alcoholism.
But Gaul forbade Robinson from seeing her children without supervision and commanded her to continue psychotherapy and to be tested weekly for drugs and alcohol for five years.
“If you choose to drink,” the judge warned, “you choose to go back to prison.”
Robinson admitted that in spring 2002, she tried to kill the children, then ages 6 and 15, and meant to kill herself as despair overcame her.
On that May 7, she drank a bottle of whiskey and swallowed pills. Then she gave her son an elixir of soft drinks and prescription drugs. As he slept on her couch, Robinson bent over her daughter as she played a video game, kissed her, then slashed the girl’s throat with an 8-inch knife. Then she cut her sleeping 6-year-old son’s throat.
The daughter ran to the home of a neighbor, who called 9-1-1. Emergency workers found a note in which Robinson wrote that her life was meaningless and the children “don’t deserve the stigma [of] a deranged parent.”
The month before, she spent several days in a psychiatric ward at South Pointe Hospital after saying that her manic depression had made her suicidal and homicidal. Upon her release, county social workers returned her kids to her custody.
Assistant County Prosecutor Ronni Dukoff told Gaul early release would send “the wrong message” given the “severe, heinous crimes committed on children.”
But Gaul appeared to be swayed by arguments from Robinson and her lawyer, Dennis LoConti, that misprescribed antidepressant drugs contributed to her psychosis.
Robinson’s mental state stabilized under the care of prison doctors who weaned her off of the drugs, and she has been active in alcoholism treatment, LoConti said.
The boy now lives with his grandmother, and the girl is missing after leaving a county juvenile facility, court officials said.
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