Knoxville mother charged with evidence tampering in death of five-year-old daughter released on bond


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The mother of a five-year-old who was shot and killed in Knoxville on Saturday has been released on bond Wednesday after being charged with tampering with evidence.

Robin Howington was released on bond at 3:27 a.m. Wednesday. Her bond was set at $20,000 for each charge – two counts of tampering with evidence – in a shooting that claimed the life of her five-year-old daughter.

Knoxville police said Wednesday they had charged Howington, 36, with two counts of tampering with evidence in a shooting that claimed the life of her five-year-old daughter.

KPD responded to a reported shooting on the 500 block of Balsam Drive just before 9 p.m. Saturday. After being transported to the UT Medical Center, the victim, a 5-year-old girl, succumbed to her injuries.

Once at the hospital, Howington did not want to give officers her cell phone and attempted to destroy the phone placing it under running water because she feared it would have evidence of drug sales on it.

Howington admitted to hiding the firearm that was used in the shooting and wiping the gun down prior to hiding it in the bushes. She also admitted to altering the crime scene back to its normal state.

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has opened an investigation related to this incident.

The 5-year-old girl had been a student at Fountain City Elementary. On Wednesday afternoon, principal Ina Langston released the following statement via Knox County Schools:

“Our hearts are broken over the tragic loss of one of our students. She will be greatly missed by her fellow students and teachers. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.”

Fountain City Elementary Principal Ina Langston

KPD says it is investigating the shooting as an active homicide. No further details have been provided.

We checked Howington’s criminal history and learned she was convicted of a DUI in April 2010. More recently, in May 2018, she was convicted of driving without a license. There are a number of traffic violations and minor drug charges but they were all dismissed.

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