Why A Food Network Star Was Just Sentenced To Life In Prison

It's not too uncommon to hear celebrities getting jail times. Some get light sentences. For instance, the actress behind "Full House"'s beloved Aunt Becky, Lori Loughlin, went back to acting after five months behind bars. Others find themselves trading their designer clothes for orange jumpsuits for much longer periods. But it may come as a shock to learn that someone who competed on a popular Food Network show was sentenced to life in prison. And it could be even more shocking to learn the horrible reason it happened.

According to E! News, Ariel Robinson "was found guilty of homicide" following the death of her 3-year-old foster daughter, Victoria "Tori" Smith. For those unaware, Robinson won Season 20 of "Worst Cooks in America." The horrific tragedy occurred in 2021 when Simpsonville, South Carolina police responded to a report that Victoria was unresponsive. At the hospital, she was declared deceased (via WYFF). Her husband, Jerry "Austin" Robinson, entered a guilty plea for "aiding and abetting homicide" and has yet to be sentenced. 

Several disturbing accusations were made in court

Ariel Robinson and her husband Austin claimed the emergency resulted from their foster child consuming too much water (via Greenville News). However, the evidence said otherwise. However, Victoria Smith died from serious "blunt force" injuries. Austin Robinson gave a disturbing explanation: He claimed that Ariel wasn't satisfied with how fast the 3-year-old was eating pancakes and responded violently.

Austin went on to claim that, while he was allegedly outside, he heard Ariel harming the child for as much as an hour, according to Deadline. When he pleaded guilty in April, he also said of his wife, "I told her you went too far this time and I should've stopped it." In an attempt to weaken his credibility, a defense attorney asked about past lies. For instance, he falsely claimed to have gotten his GED, lied about his employment status, and secretly pawned belongings.

Ariel accused the 3-year-old's brother of violent behavior. Yet, a medical examination cast doubt on Ariel's account. So severe were the injuries that pediatric doctor Dr. Christina Goben declared them "the worst I've seen." E! News reports that all episodes of "Worst Cooks in America" featuring Robinson have been removed.