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Phillup Alan PARTIN

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Hitchhiking
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: 1987 / July 31, 2002
Date of arrest: October 28, 2003
Date of birth: June 29, 1965
Victim profile: ??? / Joshan Ashbrook, 16 (female hitchhiker)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: New Port Richey, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to 17 years in prison for second-degree murder in 1987. Released in 1995. Sentenced to death on December 1, 2008
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Phillup Alan Partin (born June 29, 1965 in Sacramento, California) is an American convicted murderer currently on Florida death row at the Florida State Prison. Partin was sentenced to death by a 9-3 vote in favour of the sentence by a jury on December 1, 2008 for the July 31, 2002 murder of 16-year old hitchhiker Joshan Ashbrook.

In the early morning hours of December 2, 2008, Phillup Partin arrived at the Florida State Prisons death row unit.

Murder

Evidence at Partin's trial showed that he picked up Ashbrook as she hitchhiked along Florida on July 31, 2002. He and Ashbrook spent the day fishing and swimming with Partin's daughter, then 7, before returning to the New Port Richey house where he and his daughter were living. Prosecutors think Ashbrook was killed between 9 p.m. and midnight.

The next morning, workers found her body in woods off Shady Hills Road. She had been strangled, her throat gashed and her neck broken. Nine days after the discovery, Partin dropped his daughter off in Wauchula and left the state. He was a fugitive for more than a year before investigators tracked him to Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was arrested there October 28, 2003.

 
 

Jury wants death for Phillup Partin, girl's killer

By Jamal Thalji - TampaBay.com

March 20, 2008

NEW PORT RICHEY Robert Ramsdell remembers that day five years ago when he first saw his stepdaughter's killer in a Pasco courtroom.

A defiant Phillup Alan Partin showed off the tattoo across his shoulders, the one he got during his year on the run from law enforcement:

"Live free or die."

Words to live by, the stepfather said.

"He's not going to live forever," Mr. Ramsdell said Wednesday. "He may as well kill himself now."

That's because a jury decided on Wednesday that the state of Florida should take Partin's life for taking 16-year-old Joshan Ashbrook's life in 2002.

It took the jury of eight men and four women three hours on Tuesday to convict Partin of first-degree murder. It took them two hours on Wednesday to vote 9-3 in favor of the death penalty instead of life in prison.

Partin, 42, reacted as he has throughout his two-week trial: with a cold, blank stare and an air of hostile indifference.

In fact, the trial revealed that the only thing Partin seems to care about in this world is his 12-year-old daughter, Patrisha.

Is Partin both a cold killer and a caring father?

"How can he love his little girl," said the victim's mother, Tara Lynn Ramsdell, "and not care what he did to mine?"

The trial, or guilt phase, took seven days. Wednesday's penalty phase was brief by comparison.

The state's lone witness was a Miami-Dade police lieutenant who testified about Partin's first murder two decades ago, when he snapped the neck of a Miami man. The lieutenant said Partin hustled at gay bars then, which is how he met that victim.

In 1987, Partin was sentenced to 17 years in prison for second-degree murder. But he was released in 1995.

Joshan (pronounced Yo-shan) also had her neck broken, a medical examiner testified, separating her head from her spine. Her throat was also cut open.

No one testified on Partin's behalf. No family members have even come to court. Instead, the defense played snippets of videotaped depositions on his behalf.

They played just a few seconds of a tape of Partin's daughter, who testified for the state that she saw the victim alive with her father.

In the tape, defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand showed the girl a hand sign that she and her father used to share.

"Is that what the two of you used to say 'I love you' to each other?" the lawyer asked.

"Yes," the girl said.

The jury's vote for the death penalty is a recommendation. State law says the judge must give it "great weight."

In the end, it will be Circuit Judge William Webb's decision alone. Partin's lawyers will try to persuade the judge to override the jury's recommendation at a May 16 hearing.

Partin doesn't appear to like the judge. He's insulted Webb in jailhouse letters and on Wednesday directed profanities at him.

The judge will sentence Partin on June 20.

The Ramsdells have eight children, 17 grandchildren and one more on the way. Those children have questions their grandparents cannot answer.

"We have grandchildren who want to know why the bad guy killed Auntie Yo-Yo," Tara Ramsdell said, "and what do you say to them? He's not going to say anything to us. I want him to tell me why."

The state said the motive for Joshan's murder is a mystery that may never be solved.

The mother of Partin's daughter said she is conflicted about the death penalty. "How's his daughter going to feel," she said, "not being able to see her father again?"

Given Partin's feelings about being living free, the mother said, she wonders if a worse punishment would be to let him live out his days behind bars.

"Sometimes I think so," Mrs. Ramsdell said. "But I'm Joshan's mother. I say kill him.

 
 

Verdict is guilty in Pasco teenager's 2002 murder

By Jamal Thalji - TampaBay.com

March 19, 2008

NEW PORT RICHEY He didn't even know her name.

Phillup Alan Partin was the last one seen with the teenage girl before her half-naked body was found in Shady Hills in 2002.

The fake name he gave to detectives over his cell phone hadn't thrown them off. So he fled the state. But he kept calling detectives, feeding them bits of information, hoping to get them off his trail.

"What time did you meet Joshan that morning?" a detective asked in one recorded call.

"Who?" Partin replied.

Her name is Joshan Ashbrook. She was beaten and strangled, her throat cut, her head ripped from her spine, her body dumped alongside Shady Hills Road.

She was found on Aug. 1, 2002, and almost six years later, a jury decided that it was Partin who left her like that.

The jury of eight men and four women took little more than three hours Tuesday to find Partin guilty of first-degree murder.

Their job isn't done yet. They will re-convene at 9 a.m. today to begin the penalty phase, to decide whether a sentence of life or death is appropriate for Partin's crime.

Partin accepted the verdict the same way he had handled everything else in his trial: indifferently.

He stood for the verdict, then leaned back into his chair, his bearded chin resting on his right hand. It's the same position he's kept throughout the trial.

Partin, 42, declined to testify on his own behalf. The only hint of emotion he displayed was when he glared at Deputy, Scott Gattuso, who testified against him. Before the trial, from his jail cell, Partin penned a mocking letter to Pasco Sheriff Bob White about Gattuso's long disciplinary record.

The victim's mother, Tara Lynn Ramsdell, clutched her husband Robert's arm and shook as the verdict was read. She sued and later settled with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office for failing to obey a court order to pick up her runaway daughter.

Instead, authorities say, Partin found the 16-year-old girl first.

The mother declined to comment after the verdict. She wanted to save it for today, when she will get to address the man who killed her daughter.

The state's strongest evidence was given to them by Joshan herself. They are the hairs that authorities say she tore from Partin with her left hand during their struggle, when he attacked her from behind, pinned her right hand with his left and cut her throat with his right.

The hairs contained Partin's DNA.

But the verdict does not answer all the questions left in the wake of Joshan's death. Chief among them: Why?

After Partin's capture 13 months later, detectives tried to find out in taped interviews.

Partin admitted that he had picked up many hitchhikers the same way he picked up Joshan, by just making eye-contact alongside the road. They went to Wal-Mart with his 7-year-old daughter, then fishing, then went back to his place.

Had she rejected his sexual advances? Was Partin enraged to discover she was just a teenager? What set Partin off the night of July 31, 2002 the last time Joshan was seen alive?

Assistant State Attorney Mike Halkitis told jurors Monday that whatever Partin intended to do that night, it was premeditated. Why else would he take Joshan out with him that night, but leave Patrisha, his young daughter, behind at home?

"Why don't you take Patrisha with you?" the prosecutor asked jurors. "Because you don't want your young girl to see what's going to happen."

 

 

 
 
 
 
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