A St. Paul man is expected to be sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to fatally shooting a woman who was pregnant with his child.
Zachary V. Robinson, 27, pleaded guilty Thursday in Hennepin County District Court to two counts of second-degree murder for killing 27-year-old Leneesha Columbus and their child.
According to the county attorney’s office and charging documents:
Columbus was 6-1/2 months pregnant with their daughter when she was killed July 5. Before dying that night she gave birth to the child, who survived but was taken off life support on Aug. 6 and died from complications of her premature birth.
Robinson, who will be sentenced Dec. 11, is expected to receive a little more than 27 years in prison for Columbus’ murder and almost 22 years in prison for his daughter’s murder. He will serve the terms consecutively.
Witnesses told police they saw Columbus sitting in a sports-utility vehicle that had stopped at E. 37th Street and Chicago Avenue near where George Floyd was killed by police in May, according to court documents.
She and Robinson were arguing, witnesses said, and then shots were fired. The SUV traveled a block before stopping, at which point a family member exited and yelled for help. Robinson fled the scene.
Columbus was a model and publicist for Dawgy Entertainment, a Minneapolis music company, and was described as a loving mother, sister and friend.
Robinson also has pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in an unrelated 2019 case for shooting a man outside a bar in downtown Minneapolis, and is expected to receive a little more than four years in prison for the assault. That term will run concurrently with the sentences in the Columbus case.