Judge releases killer of student
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Thursday, June 19, 2008
6/19/08 at 2:26 AM
She ends the youthful offender case of a school-bus stabbing.
WAGONER — A man who was convicted of stabbing a fellow student to death as a teenager was ordered to be freed Wednesday by a Wagoner County judge.
Special District Judge Sandy Crosslin officially dismissed the case against Daniel Harley Dillingham, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2003 stabbing death of Carl Andrew "Andy" Robinson, 16.
When he was 15, Dillingham stabbed Robinson once in the chest and once in the back while the two were on a Porter school bus. He was prosecuted as a youthful offender.
In Dillingham's case, the Office of Juvenile Affairs could retain jurisdiction under youthful offender guidelines until his 20th birthday. If he had not complied with his treatment plan, though, he could have been "bridged" into an adult prison.
Court records indicate that Dillingham turns 20 on Thursday.
Attorney Dennis Shook, who has represented Dillingham from the beginning of the case, said the judge ordered Dillingham's release based on his successful completion of the center's rehabilitation program.
"She found he had successfully completed the intensive treatment program and that he was entitled to be off supervision and out of custody," Shook said.
Robinson's parents could not be reached for comment, but his aunt, Diane Robinson of Muskogee, said Wednesday evening that she questions whether Dillingham is "really ready to deal with the real world."
"I've always wondered if the young man realized what devastation and pain he inflicted on Andy's parents and sisters. This was a horrible loss for them," she said, adding that "I've never really understood if he's remorseful."
Robinson said her nephew "was a good kid. He really was. He had a future, and it's gone."
Of Dillingham, she said: "They rehabilitated him, but has he been punished? To me, there should be some punishment involved, too."
Shook said the Dillingham family was relieved with the decision.
"It was a long fight, but I think the result that was reached was certainly a just one," Shook said. "Both Daniel and his parents are glad to be through with the process."
Until his release Wednesday, he had been kept at the L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs.
Dillingham has had annual review hearings since he has been in the custody of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs.
The judge refused a request to expunge Dillingham's record, but it will be eligible for expungement in three years.
After the crime, prosecutors had pushed for Dillingham to be tried as an adult because he allegedly planned the killing.
District Judge Darrell Shepherd agreed, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Shepherd's ruling, ordering Dillingham to be prosecuted under the Youthful Offender Act.
World staff writers Matt Barnard and Bill Braun contributed to this story.
Tim Stanley 581-8385
Daniel Dillingham:He was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2003 stabbing of Carl Andrew "Andy" Robinson.