In 2017 Owens was indicted by a Buncombe County grand jury with first-degree murder for the death of Zebb Quinn.
He’ll be appearing in Buncombe County Superior Court, and his attorney says she expects the case to be settled the same day.
Update: Due to the victim’s family not being able to attend the hearing on Monday, the next court date has been rescheduled for July 25, 2022.
Zebb Quinn’s Disappearance
On January 2, 2000, 18 year old Zebb Quinn finished work at 9:00 pm and went to check on a Mitsubishi Eclipse he considered purchasing in Leicester with his former coworker, Robert Jason Owens. They drove in separate vehicles to the location.
At approximately 9:15 pm, the two were seen entering the Eblen Citgo gas station on Hendersonville Road to purchase sodas. They left several minutes later and were captured by the security camera heading in the direction of Long Shoals Road.
Quinn never returned home that night and has never been heard from again.
On January 3, 2000, his mother filed a missing persons report when he failed to show up for work the next day and did not return her calls.
Owens told police that shortly after leaving the gas station, Quinn flashed his headlights to signal him to pull over. Quinn said he received a page and needed to return and left to find a payphone.
Quinn returned around 9:30 pm, rear-ending Owen’s truck. He promised to pay for the damage and said he had to leave, cancelling their evening plan.
The next morning, Owens failed to show up for work and said he had been in a traffic accident the night before, near The Waffle House restaurant on Long Shoals Road by the intersection of Interstate 26.
He was treated at Urgent Care Center on Hendersonville Road for a head wound and fractured rib. No car accident report was filed that night, and his injuries were not consistent with a vehicle collision, according to police.
On January 4, 2000, a Wal-Mart supervisor received a call from a man pretending to be Quinn, saying he wouldn’t be able to make it to work due to an illness. Questioning the unfamiliar voice, the supervisor traced the call back to a Volvo Construction Equipment plant.
Owens worked at Volvo Industries, and admitted to police that he made the call because Quinn had asked him to. He declined to cooperate shortly after.
Robert Jason Owens was considered a primary suspect in Zebb Quinn’s disappearance early on, but police didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest.
On March 31, 2015, Investigators unearthed “fabric, leather materials, and unknown hard fragments” buried under a layer of concrete on Owens’ property on Owens Cove Road in Leicester.
An unknown white powder substance and pieces of metal and concrete were found after digging up a concrete fish pond area. Plastic bags containing possibly pulverized lime or powdered mortar mix were found in another part of the property.