Man sentenced to over 37 years for fatally shooting 9-year-old girl

Man sentenced to 37 years for killing 9-year-old girl

Man sentenced to 37 years for killing 9-year-old girl

A man convicted of murder in the death of 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith will spend decades behind bars.

D’Pree Robinson was sentenced Tuesday morning to 37½ years (450 months) in prison for the shooting that killed Ottoson-Smith back in the spring of 2021.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Robinson, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March. His sentence fell on the top end of what he was expected to receive under the terms of his plea deal. He faced life in prison if he was convicted of first-degree murder.

“What a blessing to bring justice for my daughter,” Raishawn Smith, Trinity’s father, said outside the courtroom after Robinson’s sentencing.

Inside the courtroom, Smith described his daughter and the memories he’s left with.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t cry about her and that I don’t pray that I’ll see her again,” Smith said before Robinson was sentenced. “I’d give anything to have my baby back.”

Ottoson-Smith was shot on May 15, 2021, while playing on a trampoline in the backyard of her friend’s home on the 2200 block of Ilion Avenue North and died less than two weeks later.

Investigators determined that Ottoson-Smith and two other kids were on a trampoline that was between the shooter and the intended targets. They were later able to tie the vehicle the shooters were traveling in back to Robinson, and his cellphone location data showed he was in the area at the time of the shooting.

Raishawn Smith, the father of Trinity Ottoson-Smith, hugs a supporter while holding a picture of his daughter outside court on July 11, 2023, after D’Pree Robinson was sentenced to 37½ years for fatally shooting Ottoson-Smith. (Eric Chaloux/KSTP-TV)

“She had a big heart,” Smith, wearing a shirt with “Justice For Trinity” printed on it, said back outside the courtroom. He said the milestone marked “a chapter closed.”

RELATED: Suspect arrested in connection with killing of 9-year-old in Minneapolis last spring

Robinson had initially been charged with second-degree murder and was later indicted on a first-degree murder charge.

After victim impact statements were read in court, Robinson also briefly spoke before he was sentenced. In his statement, he said he felt sorry for Ottoson-Smith’s family but denied having anything to do with her death and again said his guilty plea should’ve been withdrawn because he was under the influence of opiates.

RELATED: Man charged for 9-year-old girl’s murder petitions to withdraw guilty plea

He moved to withdraw his plea in April but Judge Julie Allyn denied it, saying she believed Robinson fully knew what he was doing when he entered the plea and didn’t have his judgment impaired. She reiterated that feeling before sentencing him.

Ottoson-Smith was one of three children to be shot within a matter of weeks in north Minneapolis.

“Trinity had such a promising and bright future, she was ready to take on the world and the possibilities of what she would have accomplished are endless,” Korrina Smith, Trinity’s stepmother, said. “There were so many milestones that she was robbed of at the hands of the defendant.”

“Thirty-seven-and-a-half years doesn’t feel like justice but I don’t know what will,” she added.

RELATED: Family of 9-year-old shot in Minneapolis: ‘Kids just can’t be kids, something’s got to give’

Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty released the following statement after Robinson’s sentencing:

“No family should be forced to endure all that Trinity’s family has these past two years. After losing Trinity in a devastating, senseless act of gun violence, they have faced multiple delays getting legal closure on the criminal case against the person responsible for this tragedy. I hope today’s sentencing helps them move forward focused on the positive memories they have of her too-short life.

“Trinity’s murder was no accident. Mr. Robinson was intent on killing that sunny, spring day and that is what he did. We cannot allow the killing to continue, we all must do more to end the violence. Our office will continue to prioritize the prosecution of violent crime but simply waiting for more victims and prosecuting criminal cases is not enough. We are also committed to working with the community and at all levels to help get guns off the street and protect those not yet harmed.”

Trinity Ottoson-Smith (Courtesy photo)