A Tennessee mother who continually changed her story about what happened the night her 5-year-old daughter was fatally shot has now been charged with murder.
Robin Howington, 37, was charged with six counts, including felony murder, in an indictment handed down on July 1, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Howington is accused in the death of Destiny Oliver, who was shot to death in September 2019.
A grand jury found that Howington “did unlawfully kill [Destiny Oliver] during the perpetration of aggravated child neglect,” local outlet WBIR reports.
Howington’s story about what happened the night Destiny was killed has changed several times, according to police. At first, she told investigators that a stranger broke into her home and shot Destiny once in the chest before escaping in a black Chrysler 300, according to a search warrant obtained by the News Sentinel.
She later told investigators during that same interview that the man was actually the girl’s father and that he fled in a white Chrysler 300, local outlet WVLT reports.
Authorities later found a handgun hidden by a bush near her home — prompting Howington to claim now that her boyfriend had stashed the gun.
Surveillance video provided by a neighbor showed Howington was the one who stashed the gun, according to investigators. When confronted with this, Howington changed her story yet again, claiming she hid the gun because her 2-year-old son had found it stashed in a closet and shot Destiny Oliver to death.
Investigators alleged that Howington attempted to destroy her phone by putting it underwater. She later told authorities that she feared they would discover evidence of drug sales on her cell, WVLT reported.
Police later interviewed a witness, who revealed Howington offered her money to take it because she didn’t want police to have it, according to WATE.
Her phone has been given to the Knoxville Police Department, which will attempt to restore the phone and recover its data, WVLT reported.
In total, Howington faces charges of felony murder, aggravated child neglect, false report, tampering with evidence, and attempted tampering with evidence, according to online jail records.
She was taken into custody Wednesday and is being held on a $500,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if she was able to comment.
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