Olympic rifle shooter Yarimar Mercado Martínez’s mother, Mabel Martínez Antongiorgi, tragically lost her life when she was struck by a stray bullet inside her Waterbury, Conn., home during a jealousy-fueled shooting incident. Franklin Robinson, driven by anger after an encounter where another man greeted his then-girlfriend, organized a group of armed individuals in April. They embarked on a quest to confront the man, ultimately leading to Mabel Martínez Antongiorgi’s fatal injury while she was peacefully sewing in her crafts room.
Connecticut Judge Brian Preleski handed Robinson a 90-year prison sentence for his role in this devastating event. Mabel Martínez Antongiorgi was the mother of Puerto Rico’s two-time rifle shooting Olympian, Yarimar Mercado Martínez, who expressed her grief on social media, lamenting the loss of her mother while she was away competing in Brazil.
Mabel Martínez Antongiorgi and her husband, John Luis Mercado, had relocated to Waterbury, Conn., from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. They were planning to renew their wedding vows before her untimely death.
The Puerto Rico Shooting Association helped cover the funeral expenses, including the repatriation of her body to Puerto Rico.
The shooting incident began on Martínez Antongiorgi’s block, with the assailants firing into a parked car, believing the man who had interacted with Robinson’s girlfriend was inside. In the chaos that ensued, another bystander suffered a non-fatal injury.
Although Robinson didn’t fire the fatal shot, he was convicted on conspiracy charges, deemed the “ringleader” of the deadly plan.
Emily Dyer, Robinson’s former girlfriend, testified during the trial as a cooperating witness, providing crucial information about the incident. Robinson’s conviction included charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, first-degree assault, and criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a potential 130-year prison sentence. Despite being offered a plea deal for 40 years, Robinson chose to go to trial and was ultimately sentenced to 90 years in prison. The other two individuals involved in the shooting are awaiting trial.