A Tennessee mother was indicted last week for the September 2019 murder of her 5-year-old daughter, a crime she first blamed on an unknown man who broke into the home, then the girl’s father, and finally her toddler son, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.
Police responded to a report of a shooting in north Knoxville just before 9 p.m. on September 14 and found that 5-year-old Destiny Oliver had been shot. She was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead the next day, WATE said.
Destiny’s mother, Robin Howington, first told police that an unknown assailant came into the house and shot the little girl in the chest, escaping in a black Chrysler 300. Later, she said that Destiny’s father shot her, fleeing in a white Chrysler 300, according to the News-Sentinel.
When police found a handgun stashed in a bush near the home, Howington said that her boyfriend — who was not Destiny’s father — had hidden the gun there. But when the investigation turned up a neighbor’s surveillance footage showing Howington herself hiding the gun, the changed her story once more.
This time, the 37-year-old mother told detectives that her 2-year-old son found the gun in a closet and shot Destiny. She said she had wiped the gun clean and stashed it in the bush. She also said she rearranged the furniture.
The week after the shooting, Knoxville police arrested Howington and charged her with tampering with evidence, as CrimeOnline previously reported. She was released on bond the same day. Court documents in that case showed that she tried to destroy her cell phone because she didn’t want police to see documentation of drug sales on it.
And that was all until July 1, when the Knox County grand jury returned a six-count indictment that included felony murder, aggravated child neglect, making a false report, tampering with evidence and attempted tampering with evidence. The News-Sentinel said she was taken into custody on Wednesday and is being held on a $500,000 bond.
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[Feature Photo: Robin Howington/Knox County Detention Center and Destiny Oliver/Dignity Memorial]