Mom Accused of Killing Five-Year-Old Daughter Tried to Blame Toddler Son

Robin Howington
Knox County Detention Center

A woman in Knoxville, Tennessee, who gave conflicting stories about the September shooting death of her five-year-old daughter, was indicted last week on multiple charges including felony murder.

“Robin Howington, 37, is charged in a six-count presentment returned July 1 on charges that also include aggravated child neglect, making a false report, tampering with evidence and attempted tampering with evidence,” according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The report continued:

Knoxville police responded Sept. 14, 2019 to Howington’s Balsam Drive home in Fountain City to find her daughter, Destiny Oliver, had been shot. The girl was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Howington initially told investigators an unknown man had come into the home and shot Destiny once in the chest before escaping in a black Chrysler 300, according to a search warrant. She later changed her story to claim it was the girl’s father who had shot Destiny, and then fled in a white Chrysler 300.

When authorities found a handgun in a bush near her home, Howington accused her boyfriend, a different man than Oliver’s father, of putting it there.

However, a neighbor reportedly captured video footage of Howington hiding the gun there herself, the Sentinel article noted.

Once investigators told her she was seen on video hiding the weapon, she told them she was afraid to tell them she had it because she thought it was illegal, according to WATE.

“She then changed her story once more to say her two-year-old son climbed into her closet, retrieved the 9mm gun from the top of her closet using a stool taken from the living [sic] and shot his own sister in the chest,” the report said.

In addition to moving the firearm, Howington allegedly wiped fingerprints off the gun, moved other items at the crime scene, and refused to give investigators her phone, according to WBIR.

“Investigators said she put her phone underwater in hopes of destroying it. Documents state Howington feared the phone would have evidence of drug sales on it,” the article read.

In December, she waived her right to a preliminary hearing and the case was then sent to the grand jury for review.

Last week, the grand jury returned the indictment which said it found that Howington “did unlawfully kill [Destiny Oliver] during the perpetration of aggravated child neglect.”

After being taken into custody Wednesday, the suspect was held on a $500,000 bond, the Sentinel report noted.

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