Reality star Ariel Robinson jailed for life for beating 3-year-old foster daughter to death and trying to blame her son

Reality star Ariel Robinson jailed for life for beating 3-year-old foster daughter to death and trying to blame her son

May 13, 2022

A REALITY TV star has been jailed for life for beating her three-year-old foster daughter to death before trying to blame her son for her injuries.

Ariel Robinson, who appeared on Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, was sentenced on Thursday following the death of little Victoria "Tori" Smith.



The jury in Greenville County, South Carolina, took an hour and a half to convict Robinson of homicide by child abuse, People reports.

Following the four day trial, Judge Letitia Verdin told the court: "In my 13-14 years as a judge, I've never seen anything like this.

"Not even approaching it."

Ariel's husband, Jerry 'Austin' Robinson, has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse.

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He has not yet been sentenced but faces up to 20 years in jail.

Following a beating, Jerry said he told his wife: "You’ve gone too far. You went too far this time."

And during an interview with police, Jerry said that he had never hit Victoria, but Ariel would "spank" and "beat" the girl "with different things, including a belt, paddle, flip flop, or whatever."

He later told the court his wife had beat and yelled at the child for an hour on the day she died.

The couple were arrest in January last year after Tori was found  unresponsive at their home.

Dr. Christina Goben told the court: "This is extensive, dependent on a child’s body that was inflicted repetitively by blunt force trauma, which is the worst I’ve seen."

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Robinson had tried to blame her seven-year-old son for the bruising found on Victoria's body, prosecutors said.

Victoria died from multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma, according to an autopsy.

She had dark bruises on her abdomen, abrasions on her face, and bruising on her back, ears, and both legs.

An arrest warrant for the couple said that they issued a "series of blunt force injuries" to the little girl, but each parent blamed someone else.

During the hearing, Ariel's defense claimed that the girl's injuries were caused partly by CPR the mom gave Victoria after she fell ill, and partly by her brother.

The mom had said the girl "went limp," and she tried performing the Heimlich maneuver and CPR.

She initially claimed that the girl's bruising was caused by the attempts to save her, but later blamed her seven-year-old son when police pressed her further.

Prosecutors also said that the foster mom told first responders that she believed the three-year-old had drowned from drinking too much water, WHNS-TV reported.

The Robinsons had taken Victoria and her two brothers into their home in March 2020, and were reportedly in the final phases of the adoption process.

They also have two sons of their own.

Robinson won a $25,000 grand prize after competing on Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, WHNS reported.

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Robinson planned to use her winnings from the show to plan a fun trip with her large family, she told the outlet.

"I want to take them to a waterpark resort or the beach. A vacation, so we can do one big thing as a family this year," she said.


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