Jerry Robinson: Ariel Robinson's husband pleads guilty in abuse and death of foster daughter, 3
GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA: Food Network star Ariel Robinson's husband Jerry has pleaded guilty to his role in the abuse and death of their three-year-old foster daughter pending his wife's trial on related charges next month.
30-year-old Ariel Robinson, of Simpsonville, South Carolina, one of the winners of the reality TV show 'Worst Cooks in America', and her husband Jerry, 35, were charged in January last year for the death of little Victoria Rose Smith. Jerry is facing a minimum of 10 to 20 years behind bars after his guilty plea Thursday, April 14, in a Greenville courtroom on charges of child abuse/aiding and abetting, Fox Carolina reported.
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Kent Dill, the senior deputy coroner in Greenville County, initially told People magazine that Victoria Rose died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries. The three-year-old was found unresponsive at the Robinsons' Simpsonville home around 2.25 pm on January 14, 2021. She was later pronounced dead at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
In his testimony during a Thursday hearing, Jerry said he walked into his home to find his wife holding a belt and accused her of beating the girl because she was frustrated with her. "By the time I walked inside, it was as if nothing was going on," he said, per Greenville News, adding that he saw the bruising as Victoria was crying. "I told her, 'You went too far this time and I should've stopped it,'" he said in court.
Ariel Robinson (@arifunnycomedy), a #BLM advocate, former teacher & winner of a Food Network cooking show, has been charged over the homicide of her adopted child, Victoria. The girl died of blunt force trauma. Robinson's husband has also been charged. https://t.co/GfEzoiafyS pic.twitter.com/892OdBEGy0— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) January 27, 2021
Jerry further testified that the girl had thrown up on herself the previous night on her way to church, thus angering Ariel. The reality TV star grew more frustrated the following morning after Victoria allegedly did not eat her pancakes fast enough, he said. Jerry said that Ariel subsequently gave the girl a "whooping" that he could hear from outside of his home. He later dialed 911 and summoned first responders. That dispatch call was summarized in court by Assistant Solicitor Christy Sustakovitch, saying Jerry reported, "We have an emergency, our daughter is unresponsive. She drank a lot of water. We tried to do CPR to get it out."
According to Greenville News, a hearing was scheduled for the Robinsons to formally adopt the foster child on January 19, five days after the girl's death. Ariel, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge of homicide by abuse and is slated to go on trial on May 9, won the 20th season on the August 2, 2020, finale of the Food Network cooking show, receiving a $25,000 grand prize and a Food Network cooking set. However, the couple's arrests prompted the network to remove the entire 20th season of the longtime culinary competition from the cable service's VOD offerings, and subsequently, from Discovery+, Hulu, and YouTube, Deadline reported.
If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.