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BREAKING NEWS: Man who killed, dumped toddler outside Blooming Prairie sentenced

murder, dariaz higgins, toddler, dumped, conviction, steele county, mn
Dariaz Higgins
Kay Fate, Staff Writer

Almost exactly five years after the body of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson was found in a ditch just outside of Blooming Prairie, the man who killed her was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Dariaz Lewis Higgins-Taylor, who also goes by Dariaz Lewis Higgins, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder without intent Wednesday in Mower County District Court. He was the child’s father.

Judge Natalie Martinez accepted the plea, then sentenced Higgins to 210 months in prison. He must serve at least 140 months, or 11 years, before he is eligible for parole.

Those details are just a formality, however: Higgins is already serving a life sentence without the chance of parole, plus another 10 years, for killing Noelani’s mother in Wisconsin four days after the toddler’s body was found.

Higgins will be transported back to Wisconsin to serve the remainder of that sentence.

Noelani was killed at the Rodeway Inn Motel in Austin sometime during the first week of March 2019.

Higgins said he wrapped her body in blankets and left her on the motel room floor for a few days.

On March 10, 2019, as he drove toward Minneapolis in a blizzard, Higgins stopped near the intersection of U.S. Highway 218 and Minnesota Highway 30 just north of Blooming Prairie, and put her body in the ditch.

She was found five days later by a passerby.

An autopsy determined Noelani had died from multiple blunt force injuries to her head.

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