Richmond, Virginia woman Barbara Banks pleaded guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge in court on Thursday. Banks testified that she fatally stabbed fellow Richmond resident Keon J. Robinson because he called her ugly and proceeded to repeatedly hit her.
The stabbing happened on February 9th around 1 p.m. Banks told Richmond police detective Jeffrey Crewell that she first encountered Robinson as she was leaving a friend’s apartment. She alleges that Robinson slapped her in the back of the head and called her ugly as she walked by him. Moments later, Robinson smacked her again and continued to insult her. Robinson’s blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit at the time of the assault.
Banks said that after being slapped by Robinson a second time, she went inside a nearby apartment and grabbed a knife.
"Wait right there," Banks recalls telling Robinson.
Banks said that when she came back from the apartment Robinson hit her again. At that point she’d had enough, and she stabbed Robinson in the chest. Although the stab wound was only one inch deep, Banks punctured Robinson’s aortic artery. He bled to death on the scene.
Banks admitted to Detective Crewell that she was looking for revenge when she stabbed Robinson.
“Yeah, true, I’m not going to lie,” Banks admitted. “That is what I was thinking in my mind.”
The charges have sparked an interesting discussion over how harshly Banks should be punished for the stabbing. Since she was being repeatedly struck by the intoxicated Robinson, some are asking whether Banks had a right to retaliate back against her assailant.
Richmond prosecutors originally charged Banks with second degree murder, but they ultimately decided to pursue the voluntary manslaughter charge instead. If convicted, Banks may spend up to ten years in prison. Prosecutor Anne Lloyd told reporters that she and her team “will be seeking substantial jail time” for Banks.