After being convicted of murdering his 8-year-old daughter Hiawayi last month, Hiawatha Robinson was sentenced to 100 years in prison by a Mobile county jury.
At the sentencing hearing Wednesday morning, friends spoke on Robinson’s behalf. Mike Johnson spoke to the jury about Hiawatha and his character. However, family members of Hiawayi were in the courtroom and Hiawayi’s aunt, Tiveria Populus, spoke against Robinson.
Robinson made a statement during the proceedings, “I’m going to come back as a man, you are going to see this face again. You took me away from my family, friends and fishing trips all on a lie.”
Robinson was also involved in a verbal altercation with Judge Charles Graddick, who was overseeing the sentencing. Judge Graddick told him to quiet down and even told Robinson that “you’ll be back in a pine box” and “you make me sick to my stomach”.
Judge Graddick added, “Hiawayi is looking down [from Heaven] at someone she loved and trusted and asking how in the world could you have done that to me.”
Robinson also said, “remember this face, I will be back, you will hear this voice again.” In response, Judge Graddick said, “I’m going to do everything in my power to keep you in prison for the rest of your natural born life.”
Hiawatha’s attorney Jeff Deen said Hiawatha would be appealing this sentence.
Robinson was arrested in December 2014 for the disturbing murder of Hiawayi, who was found dead behind an abandoned building in Prichard just three months earlier.
The Prichard community rallied together for months, demanding justice for Hiawayi’s killer. Some of the public demonstrations held were attended by Hiawatha.