The husband of a former Food Network reality show contestant has been sentenced for his role in their foster daughter’s death.
Jerry Austin Robinson, 35, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars last week in a Greenville, South Carolina courtroom for his role in the January 2021 death of 3-year-old Victoria “Rose” Smith, WYFF reports. He had pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse/aiding and abetting in April, Greenville News had reported.
Robinson’s wife Ariel Robinson was sentenced to life in prison in May, after a jury convicted her homicide by child abuse. It only took the jury an hour to come to the verdict.
During his wife’s trial, Jerry Robison testified that she fatally beat the three-year-old with a belt for eating her pancakes too slowly, Deadline reported. He detailed that he had been outside in his yard when he heard his wife yelling and beating the child, which he estimated lasted for about an hour.
Smith died on Jan. 14, 2021 from blunt force trauma and internal bleeding.
Jerry Robinson also testified that he initially lied to the police and corroborated his wife’s story — in which she blamed some of the child’s bruising on her brother — “to protect her.”
During her four-day trial, Ariel Robinson tried to shift the blame for the killing to her husband, who she said had “one of the scariest types of anger issues,” according to The Greenville News. Her attorney, Bill Bouton, claimed that Jerry Robinson “cut a deal” for less time behind bars.
Last week, Jerry Robinson told the court that he regrets what happened.
“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to go back and change things, even though I know I can’t,” he said, according to WYFF.
Jake Erwin, an attorney for the biological family of Tori Smith, stated that they “look forward to the next step in this process, which is trying to bring some measure of accountability to DSS [Human Services Department] and to everyone involved in the massive failure that resulted in this unfortunate death.”
Ariel Robinson won Season 20 of the Food Network show “Worst Cooks In America,” which features amateur chefs with poor cooking skills being put through a culinary boot camp competition. As the winner of a $25,000 grand prize, she declared that the money would go towards her family and three adopted children, WYFF reported.
The Food Network pulled her season from streaming platforms following the arrest of the couple.
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