GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Day two of the trial involving a Simpsonville foster mother, accused of causing her three-year-old foster daughter’s death. The husband of that woman took the stand Tuesday afternoon.
“I told her she had gone too far this time, I should have stopped it,” said Ariel Robinson’s husband, Jerry Austin Robinson.
Jerry Austin Robinson told the courtroom Tuesday that his wife had a history of using a belt or paddle to punish their then three-year-old foster daughter, Victoria Smith.
He claims she would get mad at Victoria if she ate too slow or used the bathroom too long. On a January day in 2021, he claimed he heard Tori (Victoria) crying inside and Ariel yelling at her to eat quicker. Robinson also said he could tell Tori was getting hurt but let it go on for about an hour.
Eventually, he walked into the kitchen and said he saw Tori bruised and Ariel standing over her. He said, a short time later they gave Tori a bath. Eventually, he went and got Tylenol but he said she continued to get sick and then, went limp.
“She told me she loved me and I said I love you too, I said I promised this wouldn’t happen again,” Robinson said.
Beau Gibbons with the Simpsonville Fire Department said in court when he walked into the Robinson’s home on that day to respond to the 911 call, he saw Victoria Smith on her bedroom floor.
He told the courtroom while he was trying to save Victoria Smith’s life, they found severe bruising on her body. First, he said Ariel Robinson told him it was from her doing CPR wrong before emergency crews got there. When more bruises were uncovered, Gibbons said Robinson claimed they were from Victoria’s brother.
“When she said that, that’s when I got concerned that this is bad,” Gibbons said.
The defense argues Jerry Austin Robinson has a history of lying noting discrepancies between his testimony and what he originally told law enforcement.
Someone from DSS also testified Tuesday. They said their department did monthly, virtual check-ups on the Robinsons ahead of this incident. None of those check-ups resulted in any concerns for the department.
The trial resumes Wednesday morning.