While there has been little movement in the criminal case against the accused killers of 3-year-old Victoria Rose Smith, the biological family posted a disturbing update Monday.
Family spokesperson Michelle Urps said that the Facebook page of Victoria’s biological mother Casie Phares was hacked and the hackers created a fraudulent GoFundMe page in her name.
The GoFundMe page “Justice for Victoria!” was created Monday morning.
Urps said she reported the fraudulent GoFundMe page soon after it was created. By Monday night, the page was deleted.
Several people on the Justice For Victoria Rose Smith page said they had recently received Facebook messages from Phares asking for money, which also appears to be a part of the fraud.
Urps urged those who have been recently contacted by Phares on Facebook to report the scam to Facebook and to the admins of the Justice for Victoria Rose Smith Facebook page.
Victoria Rose Smith’s biological family have been publicly advocating South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) reform in the aftermath of her murder.
Criminal Case Update
The Robinsons were actually charged on the day the adoption was supposed to be finalized on Jan. 19.
On Feb. 12, a judge denied Ariel Robinson’s bond in a virtual court hearing.
At the hearing, the prosecutor presented disturbing details in the investigation, including:
- First responders said Tori’s body was covered in deep bruises and abrasions.
- Ariel told police that Tori threw up the night before and choked on water that Jerry gave her that afternoon.
- Ariel said she did CPR and the heimlich maneuver on Tori when she was choking.
- When police questioned Ariel about the bruises all over Tori’s body, Ariel blamed Tori’s biological brother and said he had anger issues. The police found this to be false after speaking with the boy’s principal.
- After the arrest, Jerry Robinson told police that Ariel beat the 3-year-old with a belt, paddle, and other objects.
- Jerry Robinson said he was outside when the beating occurred, but when he saw Tori’s body, he looked at his wife and said “you’ve gone too far.”
Ariel and Jerry Robinson are accused of “inflicting a series of blunt force injuries” which caused Victoria Rose Smith’s death on Jan. 14, according to arrest warrants in the case.
Jerry Robinson, 34, requested a bond hearing in early February, but later withdrew his request.
A spokesperson at the 13th Solicitor’s Office told FITSNews Monday that Jerry Robinson’s attorney has not requested a bond hearing in the case.
Ariel Robinson’s next court appearance will likely be a preliminary hearing. The spokesperson told FITSNews that Ariel Robinson’s attorney has not yet requested a preliminary hearing.
It could be weeks or months before either of them is in court again, depending on when the defense attorneys request hearings.
Christy Sustakovitch of the 13th Solicitor’s Office is prosecuting the case.
Greenville attorney Lucas Craig Merchant is representing Jerry Austin Robinson, while William Innes Bouton is Ariel Robinson’s attorney.
Victoria’s case is unfortunately not the first time SCDSS has been blamed in a child’s death.
According to SCDSS Office of Child Fatalities, more than 20 S.C. children die every year due to maltreatment by a caregiver.
Victoria’s biological mother Casie Phares said she was never abusive to her children, but bullied by SCDSS into giving her children up.
Phares said she was first flagged by SCDSS when she tested positive for marijuana while pregnant with Victoria. After Victoria tested positive as a newborn, Victoria’s aunt said “things just kind of spiraled from there.”
One day, still while under SCDSS radar, Phares fell asleep while watching the two boys and Victoria, who was a newborn at the time. She had been up all night with the baby the night before.
The two boys ran to the neighbors while their mom was asleep, Victoria’s biological aunt Michelle Urps said. The neighbors contacted police and that was the “final straw” for SCDSS.
Phares also was struggling to find housing at the time, which made her case with SCDSS even worse.
This is significant because the Robinsons — the family SCDSS chose for Victoria and her brothers — were financially struggling and on the verge of losing their Simpsonville home when they were in the process of adoption.
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The Robinsons’ home had been in foreclosure since 2019, according to court records. They stopped making payments on the home in 2018.
According to court documents, the COVID-19 eviction ban allowed the Robinsons to stay in their home throughout 2020.
Recently, Ariel Robinson’s friend told FITSNews that the Robinsons started an online fundraiser for their adoption.
“I wonder if DSS isn’t doing thorough financial checks before allowing adoptions to happen,” Robinson’s friend previously told FITSNews. “There are just so many questions regarding the system and if people are being checked thoroughly before being able to foster/adopt.”
The murder of Victoria Rose Smith has caught a lot of national attention in the last few weeks — partially due to the fact Ariel Robinson won Worst Cooks in America on the Food Network.
As the case has gained more and more publicity, social media sites have shut down Ariel Robinson’s accounts — which were filled with photos of Victoria.
Nancy Grace recently covered the tragedy on her podcast.
Nancy Grace hammered SCDSS on her podcast after hearing details in the case.
“Do we just hand children out like they’re a dozen eggs at the grocery store?” Grace asked.
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