Ariel Robinson, a former winner on Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, was denied her bail request of $40,000 on Friday after claiming that the death of her three-year-old foster daughter was caused by ingesting too much water rather than by her own hand.
Ariel and her husband, Jerry, were charged with homicide via child abuse of Victoria Rose on January 14. While Ariel, 29, appeared before a judge virtually on Friday, her 34-year-old husband did not make an appearance.
According to Greenville County senior deputy coroner Kent Dill, Victoria Rose died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries. However, during the hearing, Ariel claimed that her foster daughter had received those injuries after she attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on her. Ariel had told first responders that the child “went limp” after drinking several cups of water and that she had feared Victoria Rose was choking when she stepped in. As a result of the failed Heimlich maneuver, the three-year-old was left with bruises on her stomach and chest.
On Friday, Jerry did make a statement that his wife would “spank, beat [Victoria Rose] with different things, including a belt, paddle, flip flop or whatever” whereas he claimed that he never physically hurt the child. Jerry also added that on the day found Victoria Rose unresponsive, Ariel had beat the young girl with a belt.
Ariel was the season 20 winner of Worst Cooks in America, but the Food Network removed the entire 20th season from its streaming platforms (the cable service’s video-on-demand offerings, Hulu, and Youtube) following the Robinsons’ arrests.