Man found incompetent to stand trial for stabbing death of pregnant girlfriend

Author: Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Aug 15 2012 05:45:43 PM PDT   Updated On: Oct 21 2013 05:01:42 PM PDT
Robbie Bishop murder suspect
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane Valley man suspected of stabbing his pregnant girlfriend to death won't stand trial for murder.

On Tuesday, a superior court judge dropped the charge against Robbie Bishop after deciding he wasn't mentally competent.

In a jailhouse interview Bishop, 22, admitted to the crime, and prosecutors had hoped to play the interview for the jury at trial, but the case never got that far, bogging down in mental health reviews and the deaths of several witnesses.

"I went to the kitchen and that's when she came at me again and that's when I took her to the ground and that's when I stabbed her," Bishop told KXLY4 Reporter Jeff Humphrey.

Bishop said he was acting in self defense when he stabbed his pregnant girlfriend back in 2009. He said he was fighting with Robin Anderson over who would get custody over their son when the baby was born.

"He's trying to push it off as self defense? I mean maybe one or two stabs but over 70? And the majority of them were the baby," Anderson's friend Lynn Doidge said.

Doidge thinks a jury would have never believed Bishop's alibi, but a series of judges worried Bishop, who is mildly retarded, is too mentally disabled to help with his defense.

"I'm sure you're familiar with the word malingering? He's an expert," Doidge said.

She also thinks that Bishop is faking mental illness, and so do prosecutors, but before the case could go to trial, two of the defense expert witnesses died, delaying the proceedings.

"We've kept having to have postponements because somebody's dead," Doidge said.

The delays gave doctors more time to treat Bishop with medication, but Judge Jerome Leveque never saw enough improvement to believe he was competent to stand trial.

So now Bishop will be committed to an indefinite stay at Eastern State Hospital where Doidge is hoping he won't manage to escape.

"Everybody keeps assuring me he's not going to get out. Well there have been times when people get out and that scares me to death," she said.

Bishop is not supposed to be released from Eastern State Hospital without an order from a judge in superior court.

Prosecutors aren't giving up on the case. They said they'll re-file murder charges against Bishop as soon as Eastern doctors say he is competent to stand trial.