Horror movie stabbings: Man gets 22 years in theater attack

Steven Walter Robinson Jr.

Steven Walter Robinson Jr.

(Orange County District Attorney)

An Anaheim man who stabbed two people during the showing of the horror movie “The Signal” at an Orange County movie theater has been sentenced to 22 years to life in prison for the 2008 attack.

Steven Walter Robinson Jr. was ordered to serve an identical prison term in 2009, but the sentence was overturned by an appeals court two years later because of “intructional error” by the judge during sentencing.

A jury originally convicted Robinson in 2009 of two felony counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, plus sentencing enhancements, and two felony counts of mayhem. He was sentenced in December that year.

On a February evening in 2008, Robinson attacked two people during the showing of “The Signal” at an AMC theater in Fullerton.


It was later discovered that Robinson possessed several books on serial killers and had posted about mass murder online, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

The night of the attack, Robinson had attracted attention when he was asked to show his ticket. Theater employees said Robinson appeared to be “agitated and aggressive.”

After the theater manager asked a security guard to keep an eye on him, the guard noticed that Robinson, who wore dark clothing and sunglasses, had a container of alcohol and asked him to take it to his car. 

Robinson left but returned about 10 minutes later to ask a cashier if anyone had turned in a “baggie,” prosecutor said. The cashier said no one had, but a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms was later turned into the box office -- prompting the theater manager to call police. 


Robinson left the theater again, getting a refund for his ticket, but again returned and stabbed Julio Sanchez, 38, and Eloy Uresti, 65.

Sanchez permanently lost mobility in one arm because of his injuries, and Uresti  suffered nerve damage. 


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