Chesterfield mother charged in baby's death

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A baby girl is dead and her mother, behind bars, facing murder charges. Chesterfield police arrested 24-year-old Robin Imani Varner. She's in jail tonight after her first court appearance.

Robin Varner appeared before a juvenile and domestic court judge on a video monitor. The 24-year-old sat quietly, looked scared and kept her eyes on the ground as the judge announced the charge of second degree murder. She said only two words in court Tuesday: "Yes sir".

In handcuffs, she appeared to tremble as she learned she could spend up to 40 years in prison if convicted of murdering her baby girl.

9:30 Monday morning, police were called to a home in the Hidden Valley community. Five-month-old Josefina Lee wasn't breathing. She was rushed to the hospital, where she died.

Off-camera, neighbors tell us they saw investigators at the Chester home for hours. One neighbor saw police pull out a mattress. An arrest came Tuesday evening.

Varner lives with her parents, who were seen heading to the courthouse. Neighbors report seeing police at the home in the past for domestic violence issues, but because of the investigation, police won't release that information.

Robin Varner now has a court-appointed attorney, who has yet to ask for bond.

The medical examiner's office is working to figure out how five-month old Josefina Lee died.

In March, Robin Varner will be back in court. This is the first murder investigation for Chesterfield County this year. 

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