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Man who tried to kill Amherst officer gets 55 years in prison: 'This justice system has failed me'

Martin Robinson was arrested last year after officer Eugene Ptacek was shot during a 12-hour standoff.

ELYRIA, Ohio — "I'd like it to be known that I maintain my innocence even though I was found guilty. I'm not gonna sit here and say I show any remorse for the so-called victims, or victim. If someone came to his house and did what he did, I'm sure he would feel just like I did. It's human nature."

Those were the words of Martin Robinson as he faced sentencing Monday morning for the May 2018 shooting of Amherst officer Eugene Ptacek.

Robinson spoke to the court before the judge sentenced him to spend 55 years behind bars.

"I've lived all my life according to the laws of this fine county, of this fine state, of the United States of America. I've done by best to follow the laws, uphold the laws and now I'm being judged on one sole incident. ... This justice system has failed me, and I've watched it fail others over the years. It was recommended to me that I remain silent and don't speak too much. You don't want to incriminate yourself, but I have a lot to say."

Before the sentence was announced, Robinson asked the judge for a fair punishment.

"I ask that the court give me the sentence that's just. Don't show me any lenience, don't be any harsher. For a punishment to be just, it has to be firm, fair, consistent, swift. If I've done something wrong, you need to advise me of that. Tell me what I've done wrong so I don't do it again."

Robinson's aunt also spoke on his behalf.

“It’s been an unfortunate situation for everyone here, and I think we’re all victims in one way or another. I feel bad for those that were injured and all they went through, but I also think Marty’s a victim. Not necessarily what happened that day, but life in general. ... He’s a good person. I think the day this happened, I’m sure he probably felt like an animal trapped in his own home. I wasn’t there, I don’t know. I just think it’s a bad situation for everyone, and I just want you to know all-in-all he’s not a bad person. I think he needed psychological help long ago.”

His defense attorney also detailed Robinson's struggles with PTSD.

"This is not a case that Martin Robinson should receive the maximum sentence," his attorney said. "This is a case that I would respectfully indicate to the court that there should be a sentence on the low end, if not the minimum sentence being imposed."

Last Friday, Robinson got up from his seat and tried to leave the court as the judge read the guilty verdicts. The judge asked Robinson to stay, saying he had a right to be present at his trial. Robinson, however, said, "I've heard enough," and the judge dismissed Robinson from the courtroom following his lawyer's request.

Robinson was arrested last year after officer Ptacek was shot during a 12-hour standoff as authorities were serving a warrant at Robinson’s home regarding weapons violations.

Robinson, who was also shot in the standoff, is a former corrections officer. Officer Ptacek survived his injuries and was released from the hospital in July.

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