Family of Murder Victim Reacts to Leon Winston's Life Sentence

Lynchburg, VA - Convicted Lynchburg murderer, Leon Winston, will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Thursday the commonwealth's attorney announced the death penalty has been taken off the table for Winston.

The family of the couple he killed has spoken out.

It has been a long 10 years for the sister of murder victim Rhonda Robinson. Ann Lewis is just glad she can finally say this is all over.

"If I had to go through it, to see it all over again, I couldn't do it, I wouldn't want to put my girls through it" said Lewis.

Her girls are the daughters of her sister, Rhonda Robinson, killed in 2002, by Leon Winston, now destined to die in jail.

"Him being there protects my girls and it protects everyone else. He can't hurt them, he can't hurt anyone else" said Lewis.

For Lewis, and the children she now calls her own, the last 11 years have been a whirlwind.

"They have learned normalcy learning to trust again" she said.

And she said now, she has just one wish.

"For them being able to make life easier; that would be the toughest part, just keeping them from having to see what I had to see" said Lewis.

"In the early morning hours of April 19, 2002, Anthony and Rhonda Robinson were murdered" said Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Doucette at a Press Conference Thursday.

He announced moving forward with three life sentences for Winston, and abandoning any pursuit of the death penalty.

"Monday's decision does not mean that Winston has been exonerated in any way. The jury's guilty verdicts for capital murder still stand" said Doucette.

Lewis and "her girls" were included in the decision.

She says as gratifying as the death penalty would have been, this ending is an ending nevertheless to a long and sad story.

"We can finally say it's over. So, that's huge for us" said Lewis.

Pursuing the death penalty for Winston would have meant a lengthy appeals process that could have lasted years; something Lewis says she refused to put her family through again.