*Former Food Network star Ariel Robinson, winner of “Worst Cooks in America,” has been sentenced to life in prison for the beating death of her 3-year-old foster daughter.
Robinson was found guilty of homicide by child abuse by a Greenville County, South Carolina jury on Thursday, PEOPLE reports. Robinson claimed at her bond hearing in February 2021 that her foster daughter, Victoria Rose Smith, died after drinking too much water.
Robinson was charged last January along with her husband, Jerry Robinson, in the death of the child. Ariel reportedly told first responders that Smith drowned from drinking too much water and that the bruises on her body were likely caused by the failed Heimlich maneuver performed on her amid fear the girl was choking, according to WYFF4.
Jerry denied physically abusing Smith. He claimed his wife would “spank, beat her with different things, including a belt, paddle, flip flop or whatever,” said Assistant Solicitor Christy Kednocker Sustakovitch.
The coroner determined Smith’s cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries. The couple was charged with several counts of homicide by child abuse. Graphic images of Smith’s injuries were shown during the four-day trial in which Ariel and Jerry testified.
“In my 13-14 years as a judge, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Judge Letitia Verdin said during Ariel’s sentencing, per The Sun News. “Not even approaching it.”
Jerry pleaded guilty to his role in the little girl’s death but has not yet been sentenced. He faces a minimum of 10 to 20 years in prison for aiding and abetting in homicide by child abuse, reports FOXCarolina.