Man sentenced for killing Norfolk woman, stuffing body in closet

Man sentenced for killing Norfolk woman, stuffing body in closet
Posted at 1:39 PM, Apr 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-10 10:57:11-04

Norfolk, Va. - In a video taken just weeks before she went missing, you can see 26-year-old Phylicia Robinson and can hear singing to her dad for his birthday.

"We`ll never get to see her again,” says Katisha Sellers, Robinson’s cousin. “See her smile, hear her voice."

Nearly a year and a half late, Robinson’s killer and neighbor, Jamiel Graves, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty Monday in Norfolk Circuit Court.

In November 2012, Phylicia's body was found in a closet inside Graves’s home, wrapped in several layers of plastic and cloth.

"I’m happy that he`s in jail because he can`t touch nobody no more and he`s behind bars,” says Robinson’s seven-year-old son, Tyshawn.

Regardless of how much time he spends in jail, her family says it will never be enough.

"This is closure on the legal side of it but this is not what we hoped for,” Sellers says. “We hoped to still have our family member still present.'"

For close to two months family searched all over Oceanview for Robinson, not knowing she had been strangled right next door.

In court Monday, family says Graves apologized for what he did, but never gave an explanation why.

"He couldn`t look at us in our eyes,” says Denisha Robinson, Phylicia’s younger sister. “He would just put his head down. You cannot tell me a good reason why you took my sister away from me. There`s not a good enough reason for it."

Graves still faces murder charges in Virginia Beach, for the death of Mandi Meyers, the mother of his children. Meyers’s body was found in the closet of her own apartment in Virginia Beach.

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