Lisa Badgett was double-parked in front of her boyfriend’s Oceanside house in August of 2012. She’d come to pick him up and bring him back to her brother’s, where she was housesitting.
Robbie Robbins had just gotten into the brand-new pick-up. As Badgett started the engine, she saw something out of the corner of her left eye. “I turned and looked out the window, and he was standing there.”
Badgett recognized him. She had been coming to that neighborhood for years. The young man was part of a large family that lived across the street. Her window was rolled down, and she clearly heard him say, “I warned you this was going to happen.” Then Badgett saw the gun. He held it pointed up toward the sky. It was a long gun. In that moment, Badgett wasn’t scared. “I thought maybe he was trying to show it off to Robbie.”
But Robbins was scared. He yelled at Badgett from the passenger seat. “‘Go! Go! Go!’ I heard the distress sound in his voice.”
Later, Badgett said she didn’t remember any gunshots, though she was shot in the face. “It took out five teeth.” She can’t chew without those molars. She was also shot in the arm; the bone in her upper left arm was so shattered that doctors inserted a metal plate to hold it all together.
Badgett believes she may have blacked out. The next thing she remembers, her truck was rolling to a stop maybe three homes away from where the shooting started. Badgett remembers watching her boyfriend get out of the truck. She put a hand to her mouth and felt the blood flowing out. She saw that Robbins was all bloody, too. Then he walked in front of the truck. He staggered in the driveway of a home. That’s where Robbins collapsed and died.
Badgett was 49 and Robbins was 47 in August of 2012.
Badgett said she knew her boyfriend wasn’t perfect. “He had his issues with drugs.”
For three years, Badgett and Robbins lived together at his mother’s home on Calle Solimar in Oceanside. She grew to recognize some of the neighbors, including the family who lived across the street, the Martinezes. They had a food truck; it was often parked in their driveway. Badgett bought a soda from that food truck once.
In late August 2012, Badgett was housesitting for her brother in Orange County. After about a week, on the night of August 29, her boyfriend phoned and asked her to come pick him up. He phoned at about 8:00 p.m.; she didn’t get to Oceanside until midnight. The plan was for them to go back up to Orange County that night.
There was no place to park on the street when Badgett arrived, so she double-parked in front of 4764 Calle Solimar. She put on the emergency blinkers. “My brother just bought the truck. It was brand new.”
She was in the home maybe five to eight minutes. She brought out a few things. “I took my blanket, my comforter, out to the truck.” Robbins brought his backpack and a black box with him. He put a couple of things in the back of the truck, then got in on the passenger side.
Claimed by Mesa Locos
Police say that the neighborhood is claimed by a gang called Mesa Locos. Twenty-year-old Diego Arturo Martinez is a member of that gang, according to Oceanside police.
Even after being shot in the face, Badgett was able to speak to officers.
Officer Jason Thompson said Badgett described a black gun with a “fat tip.” It sounded like a sawed-off shotgun. Badgett told police that she’d recognized the shooter as one of the people who lived across the street, at the house with the food truck. Oceanside gang specialists immediately knew which house that was, and they set up a perimeter around the home.
Police say Diego Martinez barricaded himself in his bedroom for awhile, before he was taken into custody by SWAT officers. Martinez was brought to Oceanside police headquarters, where he was put into an interview room. He tried barricading himself in the room for awhile, after all the officers left the room. When they returned, the interview continued.
Gang specialist Torino Valdovinos spoke with Martinez. By that time, Martinez was sitting on the floor of the interview room in handcuffs. All the room’s furniture had been removed.
Detective Valdovinos began the interview in English, but when Diego Martinez switched to Spanish, he did, too.
Martinez told the officer that he’d caught Robbins stealing or siphoning gasoline out of his family’s vehicles. Martinez said he found Robbins to be “disrespectful.” He told Robbins he didn’t want him around their home because he “brought too many problems.” Martinez said the last time he spoke with Robbins, the neighbor was rude or threatening, saying something to the effect of “I’ll be back.”
Martinez claimed that Robbins had stolen a black bag out of his family’s garage.
A gun in the yard
SWAT officers surrounded the Martinez home that night, while Officer Cababa walked along a cinderblock wall behind the Martinez home. When he looked over the wall, he saw a gun in the adjoining yard. The weapon lay on the ground between the wall and a neighbor’s shed. Cababa left the weapon as he’d found it and guarded it until it could be collected as evidence.
A San Diego County medical examiner stated that Robert Earl Robbins, 47, died of gunshot wounds to his face, neck, chest, arms, and leg.
Martinez, now 21, pled not guilty to two felonies: one murder charge, and one attempted murder charge. His next court date will be almost one year after the shooting, on August 20, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.