Ex-wife seeks insanity plea in Warren County murder case

Warren County sheriff’s deputies were called to Mercedes Robb’s home outside Lebanon.

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Warren County sheriff’s deputies were called to Mercedes Robb’s home outside Lebanon.

The Warren County woman charged with murdering her ex-husband as he waited to pick up their children for school in November is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

But prosecutors and the victim’s family remained certain Mercedes Robb knew what she was doing when she fatally shot her ex-husband, Jason Robb, as he waited at her home outside Lebanon to take their children to school on Nov. 3.

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During a hearing Thursday in Warren County Common Pleas Court, Andrea Ostrowski, the lawyer appointed to represent Mercedes Robb, said she was filing a motion for the insanity plea.

If successful, Robb would be likely be placed in Summit Behavioral Hospital in Cincinnati, where she was taken from the county jail after her arrest and where she was returned after Thursday’s hearing.

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While skeptical, Robb’s family was not surprised by the plea.

“I was prepared for it. They had prepared us this was the route she was going to go,” said Amanda Palmgren, Jason Robb’s fiance and the mother of his baby daughter, now five months old, after the hearing.

However, Palmgren rejected the idea that Robb is insane or was at the time of the shooting.

“No, not even close. She knew exactly what she was doing,” Palmgren said.

Mercedes Robb, 35, is already undergoing a mental evaluation at Summit Behavioral Center, a state mental hospital. Prosecutors indicated they would also be seeking an evaluation of Robb’s mental health.

She is accused of fatally shooting her ex-husband in the fifth act of deadly domestic violence in the last half of 2016 in Warren County.

Also, Mercedes Robb’s military medical records of care and treatment in the U.S. Air Force and from medical campuses of the Veteran’s Administration in Cincinnati and Dayton have been ordered by Judge Robert Peeler.

The order called for the records to be provided by Feb. 3.

Shortly before the shooting, Jason Robb claimed her mental deterioration as cause for custody of their children to be shifted to him.

“He had discussed filing that for a long time and finally did,” Palmgren said after the hearing. “I don’t think she knew about it.”

Thursday marked Mercedes Robb’s first public appearance since the killing. She indicated she understood the proceedings and was led out of court and back to the mental hospital in shackles.

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Now court officials will await the medical records and evaluations of Robb’s health, probably while she remains in the hospital. She is being held on $500,000 bond.

Jason Robb’s father, Jared, attended the hearing with Palmgren. Afterward, he said he and his wife continued to care for the two children, 6 and 13.

“They are getting counseling,” he said.

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