Former Dickson residents have won the battle to keep one of the three Mississippi men charged with the 2002 death of their son behind bars, but the war isn't over.

Former Dickson residents have won the battle to keep one of the three Mississippi men charged with the 2002 death of their son behind bars, but the war isn't over.
Stephen Robinson said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling put Garner Brister Jr. on tap for possible parole, 10 years after he drove the getaway car in the June 25, 2002, armed robbery that claimed the life of his son, Paul Ray Robinson at a Jackson, Miss. gunshop.
Brister, who was 16 at the time of the robbery/murder, was convicted by a Mississippi jury in 2004 and sentenced to life without parole. Brister's codefendants, Corey Bryant, who was 19 in 2002 and identified as the trigger man, and Skilah Anderson, who was 17 at the time and carried out the robbery, also received life without parole sentences for Robinson's slaying and concurrent life sentences for their roles in the robbery.
Robinson, a 1993 Dickson High School graduate, was working as a gunsmith at the time of the robbery. He was shot twice in the back shortly before noon. He died less than an hour later at a Jackson hospital.
Three years after their trial the Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld their convictions, dismissing allegations the trio should have been tried separately because they named each other in their confessions, even though the trial judge ordered the names removed from the confessions.
In October 2007, the appeals court ruled none of the defendants objected to any specific errors in the edited confessions introduced at their trial and ordered the convictions upheld.
Robinson wrote in a recent email to The Ardmoreite, "Fast forward to 2012. The US Supreme Court reviewed a case from Alabama — Miller vs. Alabama — and they determined that it was unjust to hand down a life without parole sentence to juveniles, so the driver of the car that was involved in my son's death had his sentence reduced by the US Supreme Court. This undermined the states' authority to punish criminals according to the severity of the crime, if they were juveniles. So, with that in mind, we are now facing the possibility that Garner Brister could receive a parole, and if paroled, would be released in November."
Although Robinson confirmed he and his wife, Elaine, had participated in a conference call with the Mississippi Parole Board Friday, he emailed The Ardmoreite late Monday voicing concern their opposition would not be enough to keep Brister behind bars. He appealed to the paper for a story that would give area residents who had known his son the information they needed to also voice their opposition to Brister's release.
But Tuesday afternoon The Ardmoreite received another email. Robinson said he and his wife had just learned the board had voted to deny Brister's bid for freedom. While Paul's parents, who now live in Washington, Mo., are pleased, they know this is just the first of many battles to come. Brister will be eligible to seek parole again in June 2016.