KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville woman charged with evidence tampering in the shooting death of her five-year-old daughter twice changed her story when speaking with investigators, according to a search warrant released Friday.
Robin Howington, 36, was charged with two counts of evidence tampering related to the 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, September 14. After being transported to the UT Medical Center, the victim, a 5-year-old girl, succumbed to her injuries.
While officers processed the scene, Howington told investigators that she was in the middle room of her home watching television with her two children when a man entered the home with a gun. Howington said the man pointed a gun at her daughter and shot her once in the chest before fleeing in a black Chrysler 300.
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. An interview with a witness revealed Howington did try to give her phone to her and even offering her money to take it because she didn’t want police to have it due to her drug sales.
After admitting to destroying her phone, Howington changed her story to say that her daughter’s father came to her home, began an argument before shooting the five-year-old girl and fleeing in a white Chrysler 300.
According to officers who viewed a neighbor’s video footage of Howington’s front porch, she can be seen walking out of her front door, walking to the side of the home where the firearm was located in an attempt to hide the murder weapon.
When questioned about the firearm, Howington told investigators her boyfriend placed the gun near the side of the home.
When investigators told her she was seen on video disposing of the firearm, she said she was scared to tell investigators she had a gun because she believed it was illegal. She then changed her story once more to say her two-year-old son climbed into her closet, retrieved the 9mm gun from the top of her closet using a stool taken from the living and shot his own sister in the chest.
Howington also admitted to wiping the firearm clean of fingerprints and possible DNA prior to throwing it into the bush.
Howington was arraigned in Knox County Criminal Court on Friday, September 27. This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update the details as they become available.