Springfield Township mom could get death penalty if convicted of killing toddler

WCPO nahla miller.png
Posted at 2:24 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 17:45:19-04

Tianna Robinson, a Springfield Township mother accused of abusing and killing her 4-year-old daughter, could receive the death penalty if convicted.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced Monday that Robinson had been indicted on charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and endangering children in connection to her daughter’s death on April 21, 2021. She could be sentenced to death if a jury finds her guilty of aggravated murder.

"This child was enduring, really enduring, tremendous torture at the hands of her mother," Deters said.

It was April 13 when Springfield Township police arrived at a residence where Robinson was with her boyfriend, Rensley Washington III, and her daughter. She called 911 to report the child passed out.

"This is like her third time doing it now," Robinson told the dispatcher. "So, I'm not sure. She came back every time, but this time she's not."

Court documents said Robinson later admitted to punching and strangling the girl until she could no longer breathe, and doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital observed signs of “prolonged physical abuse” when Nahla was admitted.

Deters said he believes the couple left the toddler alone at the home while they went to the grocery store. When they returned, she had a bathroom accident.

"She was not toilet trained, had urinated," said Deters. "The mother snaps, attacks Nahla, hits her, strangles her."

Deters said doctors documented a broken arm, internal bleeding and bruising as well as a burn on her hand from that incident. He said doctors noted months of prior abuse and malnutrition.

She died April 21. Deters said she weighed 23 pounds, half of what a healthy 4-year-old weighs.

The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a homicide caused by strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Robinson was initially charged with attempted murder, felonious assault and child endangering. Monday’s indictment drops the attempted murder charge and adds three for murder.

“I have never understood how anyone could hurt a little kid so badly, especially the child’s own mother,” Deters said. “Violence like this goes against every instinct we are born with as humans and as parents.”

The boyfriend, Washington, faces charges of obstruction and child endangerment. Deters said he could face more.

Nahla's father, Nathaniel, has set up a GoFundMe to assist with funeral and other expenses.