Mother Sentenced to Twenty-Two Years for Five-Year-Old Daughter’s Death

DA Charme Allen announces that prosecutors in the Child Abuse Unit obtained a twenty-two-year sentence against a woman whose neglect led to the death of her five-year-old daughter and then lied multiple times to investigators and tried to destroy evidence.  Robin Rebecca Howington, 41, was convicted of Reckless Homicide, two counts of Aggravated Child Neglect, Tampering with Evidence, Attempted Tampering with Evidence, and False Reports.  At a sentencing hearing today, Judge Scott Green ordered Howington to serve twenty-two years in the Tennessee Department of Correction without the possibility of parole.

In a five-day trial in March, Assistant District Attorneys Franklin Ammons, Ashley McDermott, and Heather Good explained to the jury that on September 14, 2019, Knoxville Police Department officers responded to a 911 call made by Howington that a random stranger shot Howington’s five-year-old daughter.  At the hospital, investigators became suspicious when Howington attempted to destroy her cell phone.  Upon continued questioning, Howington’s story changed multiple times, making false reports to the officers.  Ultimately, surveillance video showed that while Howington was on the phone with 911, she exited her home where her daughter had just been shot in order to hide the murder weapon.  She then offered pills to someone who bought drugs from her if he would retrieve the firearm.  Howington’s cell phone also contained a text message that her two-year-old child shot the victim.  Allowing the two-year-old to have access to a loaded handgun was the basis of the Aggravated Child Neglect.

“Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this case, a small measure of justice was achieved for a little girl whose life was tragically cut short,” said DA Allen.

Assistant Victim Witness Coordinators Erin Morrison and Lauren Ward aided in the prosecution of this case.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.