Charges against ‘shopping cart killer’ in Fairfax Co. and DC will likely wait for trial in Harrisonburg

Prosecutors in Fairfax County, Virginia, and the District of Columbia will likely wait for “shopping cart killer” suspect Anthony Eugene Robinson to be tried in Harrisonburg for the deaths of two women there, before charging him with three local killings.

More than six months ago, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis held a news conference calling Robinson a suspected serial killer after two sets of human remains were discovered in Fairfax County.

Police dubbed Robinson the “shopping cart killer” after detectives discovered two sets of human remains in a large plastic container by a shopping cart. The container was found near a motel called the Moon Inn in a wooded area near Route 1 in the Huntington area of Alexandria.

The remains were identified as Cheyenne Brown, 29, of D.C., and Stephanie Harrison, 48, of Redding, California.

Robinson has not been charged in connection with either of the Fairfax County deaths. He’s also suspected, but not charged with the death of Sonya Champ, 40, whose body was found in a shopping cart in Northeast D.C. on Sept. 7, 2021.

Robinson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and disposing of the bodies of Allene Elizabeth Redmon, 54, of Harrisonburg, and Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, of Charlottesville. Both victims were found in a vacant Harrisonburg lot in late November.

He has been held in Harrisonburg since his arrest on Nov. 23.

Sources familiar with the case tell WTOP that, based on available information and evidence, prosecutors believe the cases against Robinson in Harrisonburg are the strongest, and he will face trial there first.

The sources add that convictions in Harrisonburg would provide more options for Fairfax County and D.C. prosecutors in considering their charging decisions.

Spokespeople for Fairfax County and District prosecutors had no comment; nor did Robinson’s attorney, Louis Nagy.

Robinson’s next court appearance, in Harrisonburg/Rockingham General District Court, is scheduled for Sept. 12.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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