Such an awful story, but at least the family is finally getting some amount of justice…
Twenty year old Dpree Shareef Robinson has pled guilty to second degree murder in relation to the death of 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith. In May of 2021 Trinity was struck in the head by a stray bullet while she was at a friend’s birthday party enjoying some time on the trampoline. She was quickly rushed to North Memorial Health Hospital in Minnesota where she was listed in critical condition at the time. Sadly, she succumbed to her injuries after a brave 12 day fight for her life and passed away. No one else at the birthday party was injured.
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At the time, police confirmed the shots were fired from a nearby alleyway, and eventually tracked down their suspect. On Monday, Robinson appeared in Minneapolis court, but didn’t put up a fight to his charges. He pled guilty and avoided a trial, according to Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced the same day, being ordered to spend 450 months — or 37 and a half years — for the young girl’s murder. Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a press release:
“Trinity was doing what kids should be doing in spring time in Minnesota, playing with friends and having fun outside. Mr. Robinson’s actions shocked our community and devastated her family and all who loved her. I’m hopeful his admission of guilt begins to bring some degree of closure for Trinity’s family and the community.”
When speaking to FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul on Wednesday, Trinity’s father Raishawn Smith is just thankful for the “accountability” of his daughter’s slaying:
“Amen. That’s all we wanted was accountability. We don’t know what justice looks like, what it feels like, but we do know what accountability feels like, and this was it … I felt something come up off of me. Some anger, some weight, it just lifted off of me once [Robinson pled guilty].”
The victim’s dad went on to say he doesn’t necessarily forgive Robinson, but he does “believe in leniency”:
“I’m not a barbaric, savage kind of individual. So, I do believe in leniency. That’s not to say that he’s forgiven, but he does have to face the reaper, in a sense.”
According to her family in 2021, Trinity had aspirations to become a teacher one day. She also loved making TikTok videos, playing Roblox with her friends, going on adventures, riding her bike, playing softball and basketball, and doing gymnastics. Her mom, Nicole Ottoson, described her daughter as a “beautiful, compassionate, kind and loving 9 year old.”
We’re sending love and light to Trinity’s parents and the rest of her loved ones. May she rest in peace.
[Image via Hennepin County/YouTube/FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul]