'Worst Cooks in America' Winner and Husband Charged With Homicide in Death of 3-Year-Old Girl
Ariel and Jerry Robinson have been charged with homicide in the death of adopted 3-year-old daughter, authorities said.
A winner of "The Worst Cooks in America" reality series and her husband have been charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of their adopted 3-year-old daughter, authorities said.
Ariel Robinson, 29, and Jerry Robinson, 34, are being held without bail at the Greenville County Detention Center in South Carolina, according to online records.
The Food Network has removed season 20 of "Worst Cooks in America" from online streaming after its winner, Ariel Robinson, was arrested last week, People reported.
The woman, who had been a local middle school instructor, had her teacher's license suspended by the South Carolina Board of Education, which issued a statement Thursday saying officials had "reason to believe that, due to the serious nature of these allegations of misconduct, Ms. Robinson may pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of students, who may be under her instruction and that emergency action is required."
Police said they responded to call about an unresponsive child at the Robinson's Simpsonville home on Jan. 14. The child was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
An autopsy conducted by the Greenville County Coroner's Office ruled the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. The 3-year-old was identified as Victoria Rose Smith. She had been in foster care for much of her young life, according to local reports.
Ariel, who also worked as a stand-up comic, won $25,000 on last year's season 20 of the cooking series, in which self-professed awful cooks compete against each other while being instructed by celebrity chefs.
The Food Network has not commented on the arrests.
The victim had been recently adopted by the Robinsons, according to WYFF-TV. The station interviewed the child's previous foster parents, Tiffany and Cameron Huggins, after Victoria's death.
"She was just a natural," Tiffany Huggins said. “She had the best personality and I’m not just saying that cause I was her momma, but she was just our light. She was a beautiful child, inside and out."
Ariel Robinson had told the station after her win last year that the prize money would be a blessing because they had adopted three children. The now deceased toddler was one of them.
“I just know that the Lord had his hands on me and he had a purpose for me to go on there,” Robinson said in the August interview. “He knew we were going through this adoption, we really could use the money and he just let everything work out for our good.”
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