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
In the early morning hours of December 2, 2008,
Phillup Partin arrived at the Florida State Prisons death row unit.
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
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
A defiant Phillup Alan Partin showed off the tattoo
across his shoulders, the one he got during his year on the run from
"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,
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
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
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
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
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
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."