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Man gets 14 years for slaying of Army veteran in dispute over woman

Tahj A. Robinson, 2018. (Franklin County Sheriff/Dispatch/TNS)

Jordan Carper was an Army veteran who had survived months of combat overseas, only to be gunned down on a South Linden street at the age of 25.

He died after being shot multiple times by Tahj A. Robinson, who was jealous because Carper had become involved with Robinson’s on-again, off-again girlfriend.

“Jordan spent nine months in Afghanistan, and he was shot at over there defending our country, and he came home and had to deal with this,” his grandmother Karen Blakeley said through tears Tuesday in a Franklin County courtroom.

Her voice shook with indignation as she told Common Pleas Judge Kim Brown that “all of this happened over a girl! Over a girl! An 18-year-old with a gun. Over a girl.”

The judge sentenced Robinson, now 20, to 14 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery, both with gun specifications, in the May 31, 2018, shooting. He is not eligible for early release.

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The sentence was recommended by prosecuting and defense attorneys as part of a plea agreement.

Assistant Prosecutor Mark Wodarcyk said Robinson, who was 18 at the time, was angry after learning that a woman he had dated was seeing Carper, a man he didn’t know.

Robinson, of the Far East Side, forced the woman to drive him to Carper’s West Side home, where they picked him up and drove to the intersection of Brooks Avenue and Indigo Way.

There, the two got out of the car for what the woman thought would be a fistfight, but Robinson pulled out a gun and shot Carper multiple times, including twice in the chest, Wodarcyk said. Carper had no pulse when medics arrived minutes later, he said.

Robinson took Carper’s cellphone before fleeing, leading to the aggravated robbery charge.

“He robbed him, he shot him and left him on the street to die,” Blakeley said, noting that Carper is survived by a 3-year-old son. “You have robbed us of so much.”

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© 2020 The Columbus Dispatch