TURTLECREEK TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Amanda Palmgren thought her life with Jason Robb was just beginning.
Ten weeks before police say Robb lost his life at the hands of his ex-wife, Mercedes Robb, Palmgren gave birth to a daughter with him. The Robbs' 2013 divorce had been ugly, Palmgren said, and they were in the middle of a dispute over custody of their two children, but the Thursday morning he died should not have been different from any other: Jason came to 3112 Oregonia Road to pick up the children and drive them to school. Palmgren expected him home later that morning.
According to Warren County authorities, when Jason stepped out of his car, Mercedes shot him multiple times before calling 911 herself.
"There was no one better for me out there than him," Palmgren said. “I am just so broken."
The Journal News reported that, in that 911 call, Mercedes confessed to the shooting and said she would comply with deputies when they arrived. Warren County Sheriff’s Lieutenant John Faine told the Journal News that Mercedes did not have wounds that indicated she had acted in self-defense; Jason was unarmed and his car was running in the driveway when authorities arrived.
For authorities, Jason Robb's death means a potentially high-profile trial. Mercedes Robb, who was arrested and held on a $500,000 bond, pleaded not guilty to a preliminary charge of murder Thursday. She will appear in court Nov. 10 for a hearing to determine whether the case should be bound over to a grand jury.
For Palmgren, it means attempting to start her new life alone. The new daughter and nascent real estate career for which she’d expected to have Robb’s support now fall solely on her shoulders.
She said Friday the only thing she could do is wait for closure in the case and focus on the children.
"That's all he ever wanted, was a good life for his kids. He wanted to give them everything," she said.
Jonathan Arroyo, a friend of the family, started a GoFundMe page for Palmgren and Robb's children after Jason Robb’s death. The page had raised $5,225 by Friday night.
"Jason was a good friend and a wonderful family man," Arroyo wrote. "Please give if you can. Even if it's just a few dollars. Let’s help the guy who was always willing to selflessly help others."