Mad River Union
EUREKA – The young man accused of gunning down a Eureka woman June 30 had been dumped by his girlfriend days before and was struggling with his addiction to booze and pills, according to his Facebook page.
Maxx Robison, 20, was arrested Thursday, June 30 for allegedly murdering Rhianna McKenzie, 19, of Eureka, earlier that morning. McKenzie was shot once in the chest with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle near the intersection of Iowa Street and McCullens Avenue sometime before 3 a.m. The driver of the vehicle she was shot in rushed her to the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital, where she died.
Robison was detained for an unrelated incident involving possession of a controlled substance elsewhere in Eureka sometime after the shooting and was later arrested on suspicion of murder.
Eureka Police have not released the motive in the case, nor the victim’s relationship with Robison. The victim was not Robison’s girlfriend.
‘I can’t watch you do this anymore’
Robison’s Facebook page reveals that he was going through a particularly tough time in the days before the fatal shooting, as he struggled with an addiction to alcohol and opiates, which apparently led his girlfriend to break up with him on Monday, June 27 – just four days before the fatal encounter. (Robison’s Facebook postings are reprinted in this article without spelling, punctuation or grammar corrections. – Ed.)
At 1:33 p.m. on Monday, June 27, Robison wrote on Facebook, “I’m 20 years old and haveing a full on mid life crisis.”
At 2 p.m., Robison posted a photo of a “Dear John” letter from his girlfriend with the comment “When you wake up and your girlfriend has left you well I feel awesome about life right now.”
The letter states, “I love you very much more than words can describe but I can’t watch you do this anymore or go through it. You mean the world to me and it breaks my heart to do this, but I have to. It breaks my heart to do this ... I love you Maxx Robison.” The photo of the letter, written with a red pen in a spiral notebook, shows an arrow, perhaps indicating that there’s more writing on another page.
Two minutes after posting the break up letter, Robison wrote, “I need somebody to come over I shouldn’t be alone right now for real.”
Four minutes later, Robison posted a photo of jewelry piled on a stack of photos and wrote “She left all our photos and jewelry that I baught her too.”
On Tuesday, June 28, two days before the shooting, Robison wrote about a video that he had posted the previous day, but that he had since removed.
“I apologize for my live video yesterday I don’t condone drinking and driving. I was mentally unstable and emotionally breaking, but if your mad at me for it please go hit the delete button and fuck your own face. I’m gonna lose a lot of friends I guess.”
At 4:33 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29, the day before the shooting, Robison was apparently struggling with sobriety when he wrote “Can’t sleep due to being clean and sober anybody awake? Don’t worry I’ll still be able to work just fine mayor.”
Less than 24 hours later, Robison was outside the McCullens Motel, where he allegedly shot the 19-year-old woman in the chest. A few hours later, he was arrested on suspicion of murder, and now sits in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
‘Two roads ahead of me’
At times, Robison’s Facebook page reads like a confessional, with the young man revealing his troubles, as well as his desire to sober up and lead a better life. There were glimmers of hope, with declarations that he’s sober and doing better. Earlier in the year, Robison wrote about a new CD of rap music that he made, as well as a concert in which he performed as the opening act. (You can listen to one of his songs at soundcloud.com/thic-man/the-sunshineby-grim.)
He professes his love for his girlfriend, and writes that he plans to marry her. He occasionally mentions his job as a painter for Straight Edge Painting.
But then there’s the addiction, a recurring theme throughout the year. Robison freely admits to being a drug addict and an alcoholic.
“I remember being 15 and my grandma giving me handfuls of opanas [oxymorphone, an opioid pain medication] they would sell for more than their weight in gold,” Robison wrote on May 15. “I’m just glad I didn’t take them for myself. I chose to let that happen later in my life ... I remember selling one pill for $80 dollars and when you have 20 it’s very tempting to keep slanging ... my entire life our family’s income came from the over abundance of medication they would hand out to my family like candy. I’m just being honest with you guys I took my first oxy when I was 11 my whole family are addicts it’s time for me to break the cycle. MUCH LOVE- GRIM.” (Grim is Robison’s nickname.)
“There’s two roads ahead of me it’s continue destroying myself or say fuck this bullshit and be a man and chase my dreams,” Robison wrote.
Robison kept trying to sober up, but the addiction overcame him.
‘I’m truly a monster’
On April 27, Robison wrote “I’m a drug addict and an alcoholic. I have been since I was 16 years old, at this moment in time I am ruining my life. I have so much I should be thankful for and someone who cares so much for me she has stayed with me through all of the hell I have caused her. I don’t know who I have become I am truly a monster, what is wrong with me why cant I just stop and be happy and healthy. I am ASHAMED of who I am and what I’ve done I can’t hide it and act like I’m ok anymore. I’m not ok, I need to fix my life I need help. I don’t know if there’s any hope in making things better but I will be damned if I let my actions continue to ruin my future, I feel as if my life is in shambles ... who am I.”
‘My path has been chosen’
“I wish I could turn back time and make better decisions but my path has been chosen and it’s now up to me to choose which road I will take its all up to you now maxx what are you going to do,” Robison wrote. “There may be some of you who are saying I can’t believe he’s saying these things for everyone to see do you think less of me? That’s ok, I have to get this shit off my chest I don’t know how to feel.”
‘I am a very sorry man’
Robison continued, “After weeks of continuous inebriation and begging pleas for my woman to stay, I basically threw it all out the window and drank myself into a vomit induced coma last night, after I promised a special dinner for everyone in the house. Instead of that I ended up sleeping in the cold leaving everybody feeling as if I could care less about the pain I’ve caused them. But I do care I am sick and I am a very sorry man at the moment. My life has been full of this evil since I was very young and I am letting it get the better of me. You really are a fuck up maxx but you can change you have done it before I remember being happy together I remember when I didn’t need nor want drugs or alcohol now look at me. It’s time to take action..... Can anybody recommend a place in eureka where I can go to some sort of meetings or anything of that nature which may help me.”
Robison tried to clean up his act, On April 30 he declared “4 days clean and sober,” but it didn’t last.
Not guilty plea entered
On Tuesday, July 5, Robison entered a plea of not guilty and was assigned a public defender. He faces four felony counts including murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm and shooting at an occupied car. His bail was increased from $1 million to $1.6 million. The preliminary hearing is set for July 18.
Addendum: Below is a song Robison recorded two years ago.