GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A Simpsonville woman has been found guilty of homicide by child abuse. It didn’t even take the jury an hour and a half to come to a guilty verdict for Ariel Robinson.
“You would agree because you saw the pictures that Victoria was beaten to the pulp,” asked Assistant Solicitor Thursday, Christy Sustakovitch.
“I would agree with that,” Ariel Robinson responded.
It comes just hours after she took the stand in her own trial.
She has been convicted of abusing her then three-year-old foster daughter, Victoria Smith in her Simpsonville home, to death in 2021.
After three days of testimony from law enforcement, medical professionals, the defendant’s husband, and people close to their family, she disputed some of what was put on record.
When emergency crews got to Robinson’s home on the day Smith died, they found her lifeless on the floor in a condition some have testified as to the sickest of sick.
“This is extensive, dependent on a child’s body that was inflicted repetitively by blunt force trauma which is the worst I’ve seen,” Dr. Christina Goben said while giving testimony this week.
Robinson’s husband, Jerry Austin Robinson said Ariel used a belt and beat Smith shortly before she died. Robinson initially said some of the injuries on Smith’s body came from herself, doing CPR wrong. Other bruises, she blamed on Smith’s brother.
“Do you believe you caused the bruising on her stomach from CPR,” asked Robinson’s Attorney, William Bouton.
“No,” Robinson replied.
Robinson ended up telling the courtroom though, she now believes those bruises got there another way.
“It’s either you or Austin, correct?,” asked Sustakovitch.
“I would say so,” Robinson replied.
The prosecution said the evidence, in this case, is overwhelming.
Before jurors came to a verdict, the defense said the case comes down to credibility.
“It’s he said, she said. Who do you believe? Austin or Ariel? I think we can admit the evidence does show one of these two people committed this crime,” Bouton told the jurors Thursday afternoon.
The family of Victoria Smith told WFXR News’ sister station, WSPA, that this is the outcome they have been hoping and praying for.
“We were just here as representation for Victoria and to know that she was loved, this is the outcome we wanted,” Michelle Urps said.
Robinson has been sentenced to life in prison.
Smith’s family said this is just one step towards getting closer to justice for this young girl. They’re hoping Ariel’s husband, Jerry Austin who has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in this crime will also get the maximum sentence.
No word right now on a sentencing date for him. The charge he pleaded guilty to carries a 10 to a 20-year prison sentence.