‘Worst Cooks in America’ Winner Ari Robinson Lawyers Up & Asks for Bond After Arrest for Adopted Daughter’s Murder; Lawyer Says She’s Not a “Danger to the Community”

Ari during her time on ‘Worst Cooks in America’ last year…

Ari Robinson has lawyered up.

The former Worst Cooks in America winner— who, along with her husband Jerry, was arrested last month for the murder of her three-year-old adopted daughter Victoria— was charged with “Homicide By Child Abuse” and is now requesting bond. FitsNews reports that Ari’s lawyer filed a motion on Tuesday to ask that a “reasonable bond” be set for Ari. (She and Jerry were both denied bond following their arrests on January 19.) 

In the Motion for Bond— obtained by FitsNews— Ari’s lawyer claims that Ari is “neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community.” He credits her as having a clean criminal record, a Masters degree from Clemson University and a former career as a public school teacher in the filing.

As The Ashley previously reported, the South Carolina State Board of Education suspended Ari’s teaching certificate last month after her arrest. 

Ari— who won the most-recent season of the Food Network reality show, was arrested five days after the death of Victoria, who reportedly died from blunt force injuries. Victoria and her two brothers were adopted by the Robinsons and, up until Victoria’s death, frequently appeared on Ari’s social media. The adoptions were also a topic of a recent episode of the Robinsons’ podcast. 

While details about Victoria’s death are still vague, FitsNews reports that according to an Incident Report, Jerry called 911 around 2 p.m. on January 14, after Ari found Victoria “unresponsive” in their home. The 911 dispatcher instructed Ari to perform CPR, which she was certified to do.

A fire department arrived within minutes, followed by an EMS team, who immediately rushed the girl to the hospital. 

“It appears that first responders on scene immediately suspected child abuse,” FitsNews reports, adding that the fire department called the police with a report of child abuse/ aggravated assault and asked for emergency protective custody at 2:25 p.m. Victoria was pronounced dead at the hospital on January 14.

During her time on ‘Worst Cooks in America,’ Ari— who took home $25,000 for winning her season— spoke of her two biological kids, as well as the three children they were adopting. After news of Ari’s arrest broke, the Food Network quietly yanked down Season 20— the season she appeared on— from all of its streaming services. 

Ari had auditioned for America’s Got Talent right before her arrest, and was optimistic that she would make it on the show.

Last week, members of Victoria’s biological family spoke to local news station WIS10, stating that they are trying to get possession of Victoria’s remains in order to give her a funeral and burial.

“Give her to us,” Victoria’s biological great aunt, Michelle Urps, said. “Let us give her a proper funeral and say goodbye one last time.”

(WIS 10 reports that a Family Court judge will decide where Victoria’s remains will go.)

Last week, Victoria’s biological mother Casie Phares spoke out, denying she was abusive to her children. She stated that she had been flagged by SCDSS after she tested positive for marijuana while pregnant with Victoria, and when Victoria tested positive for it as a newborn. 

FitsNews reports that Victoria’s biological mother stated that her kids were removed from her care after she fell asleep while watching newborn Victoria and her two older brothers. The boys ran to the neighbor’s house and the neighbors contacted the police, Casie claimed.

“[That was the] final straw,” Michelle Urps said, adding that Victoria’s bio mom was struggling to maintain housing. Victoria’s bio mom said she was told she wouldn’t need an attorney for the custody court case and she was unprepared. She then lost custody of the three children and they were placed in foster care. All three were eventually adopted by the Robinsons.

“(SCDSS) made me feel that it was better for the kids,” she said. “I thought they were going to a loving family. I thought if they could have better, happier lives and become better versions of themselves, that’s OK. I trusted them and they failed.”

Both Ari and Jerry Robinson have a bond hearing scheduled for next Friday, February 12.

RELATED STORY: ‘Worst Cooks In America’ Winner Ari Robinson Auditioned for ‘America’s Got Talent’ Weeks Before Her Arrest for the Murder of Her Adoptive Daughter (Exclusive Details)

(Photos: Food Network, Instagram)


  1. Anyone else think this may have just been a tragic accident?? Maybe due to negligence, but not malicious murder/abuse. Haven’t you ever heard of Tip-over injury? Fall down stairs? Fall off bunk bed? Fall off table or other height? Other kid involved? So much is unknown.

    Yeah, the first responders and cops filed a report but they are mandatory reporters, legally–they had to.

    Any moms here? Haven’t you ever went to the other room to cook/use bathroom/work/take a call and left the kids alone for a few minutes? Only to return and something crazy happened?

    The media is blowing this up due to the celebrity aspect, the black family/white baby and adopted aspect.

    I will happily take this back, but nothing in any of these posts has shown me that this was intentional child violence. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Let her have her day in court. Let her get bail and be with her kids/family until trial.

    Why is everyone assuming the worst? Ari did get screened by sister and adoptive devices who seemed her wirhty enough. And she was a kindergarten teacher so she had some experience with kids.

    From social, it looks like a loving family. She has 5 little kids, 3 adopted…wow. maybe it was too much to handle. Initially she was only gonna adopt 1, but then found out that the baby girl had siblings, so she took them all in. Where was bio family at this time?

    Who knows all the circumstances? Who was there? We will only know in court.

    Before I jump on the bandwagon and throw stones and more negative energy at a family obviously suffering through a horrible tragedy, I just can’t—I need more info.

    Remember the toddler white girl that grandpa let fall out window of cruise ship? Everyone was all like, ‘oh such a tragedy!’. But because Ari is black, she goes to jail…yeah. America.

    As a twin mom, I know kids will at times do the wrong thing, with no foresight or planning. She had 5! All home during pandemic. But for the grace of guardian angels working overtime, we’ve all had near misses.

    As a nurse who has worked in pediatric ICU, I’ve seen so many great parents who were devastated to lose their child…through accidental blunt force injury. 3 out of 10 accidents for this age group is caused by blunt force trauma, and while at times it could be prevented…mistakes do happen.

    What if this is just a horrible accidental tragedy, and on top of it, Ari’s family is being unjustly villified, attacked, and cancelled?

    A little compassion, empathy, understanding goes a long way.

    ITA, The bio family is just out to get whatever they can out of this. Her comment about why CPS took all 3 kids is fishy, and way too convoluted to make sense to me. Usually CPS only takes kids if home life is unsafe and they are not being cared for (food, shelter, safety). Back then, how come none of those bio relatives took the kids? Now they are all crawling out of their trailer-trash drug haze doing funeral fundraisers, interviews and such. Quite opportunistic, but when 3 kids needed a home, only Ari stepped up.

    1. You really think that if a toddler died, covered in bruises, the parents wouldn’t have been arrested if they were white? Look through Ari’s instagram posts, she had an obsession with this girl, especially her hair. 99% of the photos of her children were just of this little girl, very, very few were of any of her four sons. In every photo this girl’s hair was put into elaborate and painful styles such as curlers she had to sleep on overnight and very tight braids. That’s way too much for a three year old, especially every day. Ari also constantly talked about the girl’s hair, like constantly, and would refer to it as “nappy” even though it seems quite straight and easy to manage. Projecting perhaps? I think she had a weird obsession with this poor little girl which may have started out as love but morphed into jealousy/hate/violence. But go on, tell us more about how she’s the victim. Also having “too much to handle” is not an excuse to kill a child, and it makes me wonder if your racism has addled your brain honestly

  2. First of all, the birth mother is not a very reliable source in regards to the care she provided for her children. I’m sure she was doing a lot more than just casually toking on a joint. And why in the hell does she have three kids when she apparently could not care for herself. And because she gave birth to Victoria who then ended up with some reprehensible people…Victoria is the loser in this calamity. Poor kid.

  3. Stupidest thing I have ever heard- taking a baby because you tested for Marijuana. Really?! It’s pot. It’s legal in many states now. It has medicinal benefits- I’m not saying “Yeah! Smoke pot if you’re pregnant!” but there hasn’t been much concrete evidence that it’s harmful to the baby. not to mention- there is SO much worse she could’ve been doing. Makes sense though as CPS is a crock. They take children from a mother who smoked pot, to give her to a woman that beat her to death. Seems legit.

  4. Sorry for the barrage of comments, but can’t edit/add more to comments on here. This sorry excuse of a mom didn’t even TRY to get her kids back. She was probably under the impression they’d go to a family with $$ who would give them everything she couldn’t. Not someone looking for a monthly check. She was misled and lied to. Doesn’t sound like she cares much though. Everyone failed those kids. Heartbreaking.

  5. And it sounds like CPS/CYS never even tried to help this mom. It’s not like she was a heroin/crack addict! She needed some help with housing, which she should’ve qualified for section 8 or public housing with 3 small children. IMO, falling asleep once shouldn’t make you lose permanent custody of all of your kids! Yes, she put the kids in danger, but there’s moms out there taking their kids on drug deals, doing drugs in front of them, etc and they get them back within a year! After completing a safety plan and parenting classes. 3 cute white kids… hmmm. Wonder how much CPS got paid to adopt out those kids?! CPS in some places is corrupt as f*ck!

  6. And this poor baby’s abuse must have been horrific and extremely obvious if firefighters called cops for a child abuse/aggravated assault report and protective custody request not even a half hour after arriving on scene. Poor baby. She’s with angels now. 👼🏼

  7. Jenelle evans tested positive for marijuana while pregnant with Ensley and what happened to her? Jack shit. Because the bitch cunt had money then and could travel to California for a medical card. Just shows if you have money, and money for a good attorney, you get away with a lot more. Her falling asleep while the children were in her care I can’t defend though. And this bitch Ari, she’s not a risk to anyone in the community…. except children!!! Do not give this bitch bond, or if you do, make it an amount she can’t possibly raise.

  8. Poor little angel.
    Side note – the bio mom is full of it. It takes a lot for kids to be taken away – no way in hell did her kids get taken away because of marijuana in her system and falling asleep once. Stop lying and using your child’s death for fame/sympathy/donations. And the bio aunt – have a seat. If you loved her that much while she was alive, why didn’t you take her in so she wouldn’t get sent to foster care.

    Poor kids had no chance from the second they were born.

    1. Agreed. It is extremely unlikely they would strip parental rights from a mom for falling asleep once and the baby having marijuana in her system (see Jenelle who somehow still has most of her kids). There was probably a lot more going on. And apparently there was no other family that could or would take the kids.

      Basically, every single adult in this baby’s life completely failed her. Just sad and disgusting.

  9. She murders a kid and isn’t a danger to the community? JFC. That poor sweet girl. Every single adult that was supposed to protect her let her down. I hope this waste of space feels every ounce of pain and fear that that little girl felt….x1000….indefinitely.

  10. Excuse me? You murder your child and you have the nerve to ask for a reasonable bond?! “She is not a danger to the community or a flight risk” Right, she is just dangerous to her adopted child that she murdered. GTFOH! She definitely could be a flight risk because she has the money to flee. I just hope this judge isn’t brain dead when it comes to murder of a child. Unfortunately, some are.

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