Ariel Robinson, a former food network star and winner of America’s Worst Cooks, was convicted on Thursday of child molestation in the death of her three-year-old foster daughter Victoria “Tori” Smith.
According to a local NBC correspondent, the verdict came after only an hour and a half of discussions … after a four-day long trial.
Robinson was then sentenced to life in prison.
Last month, Robinson’s husband, Jerry “Austin” Robinson, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting homicide through child abuse, a case that carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years behind bars.
He is currently awaiting sentencing.
We first reported on Robinson in January 2021.
At the time, police in Simpsonville, South Carolina, received a call about an unresponsive child, who was later pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.
Corona eventually identifies the victim as Smith, determining the cause of his death from multiple blunt force injuries.
Kent Deal, senior deputy coroner of Greenville County, said at the time that the little girl was a foster child living in Robinson’s residence, when Ari mentioned on Instagram a few months ago that he had adopted Victoria.
“This Christmas, my family was given the best news of all time! We’re raising our family by 3 !!!” On Christmas Day 2020, Robinson wrote via Instagram, adding:
“We can’t wait for this next adventure of life and new memories, smiles and love as a family of 7 !!”
Robinson, a former middle school teacher, took the 25,000 prize package for winning the worst cook in America in August 2020.
“It simply came to our notice then [my family]To give them a better life and something they never imagined, “he said in the Season 20 finale.” It’s going to change our lives forever.
Just two weeks before Smith’s death, Robinson posted a YouTube video featuring the baby.
At an April hearing, Ariel’s husband accused his wife of “beating Tori to death” because he was frustrated with his three-year-old child.
During his testimony, he said he saw her holding the belt, adding that he had told her he had gone “too far.”
Hours before the jury’s verdict, Robinson defended himself … some of his “terrible kind of anger problems” seem to be blaming his wife for the tragedy.
Prosecutors responded to the claim that evidence showed Ariel was responsible for the attack on Smith.
“Mr Robinson is deeply sorry for what happened to Tory,” read a statement from Jerry after convicting Ariel.
“He loved her very much and she knew he had failed her as his father.
“She is OK.
“After this horrific incident, he has fully cooperated with law enforcement and the prosecution to close this case.”