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Netflix show features former Charlotte inmate

Posted at 7:32 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 19:32:45-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A new popular Netflix show is putting a spotlight on a local prison.

The show 'I am a Killer' features a convicted murderer with SWFL ties. The first episode tells the story of James Robertson, an inmate who got sent to death row while at Charlotte Correctional Institution nearly a decade ago. He was in CCI for burglary and assault charges, but stayed longer after brawls with other inmates.

After earning several other charges behind bars, he was facing a life sentence at CCI. Robertson ultimately ended up in "close management" otherwise known as solitary confinement. 

Robertson told interviewers on the show the guards humiliated him, claiming conditions were inhumane. He said he wanted to get on death row and die.

Robertson said that's why he strangled his cellmate to death with a pair of socks. He was sentenced to death in 2012.

Robertson isn't the first to bring up conditions at the Southwest Florida prison. In 2014, the family of inmate Matthew Walker accused prison guards of beating him to death. None of those guards were charged.

Janet Hoffman, an advocate for prison reform in Southwest Florida says these incidents highlight the need to mental health services and training in Florida prisons. "It's pretty sad. I don't think we give enough priority to mental health issues," she said. "Our budget is such that we don't have enough guards, they are not paid enough to stay here, and there is not enough money to train them.

James Robertson is serving out the rest of his life at the Florida State Prison on death row.

The Florida Department of Corrections, which oversees CCI, provided the following comment about the show:

"The Department of Corrections’ media policies allow inmates to participate in interviews with members of the media. The opinions expressed in these interviews are those of the inmate.

Inmate Robertson was housed at Charlotte nearly a decade ago. All inmates are housed and supervised appropriately according to their classification status which accounts for their risk of posing a danger to those around them."