Fayetteville mom accused of trying to poison kids had just been released from mental hospital

Cumberland County News

Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said the Fayetteville mother accused of trying to poison her two children was released from a mental hospital just hours before the incident.

Officials said Octavia Robinson mixed lighter fluid into soda, and then gave it to her sons to drink.

EARLIER: Mom tried to poison her 2 kids with lighter fluid in Fayetteville, warrants say

“Certainly very troubling, as a parent with young children myself, you just can’t imagine any parent wanting to harm their children,” West said.

Robinson’s first run-in with police happened Friday, just across the street from the Motel 6 on Bragg Boulevard where she was living with her children. West said Robinson was with her two boys, had a knife, and threatened to harm herself.

She was committed to a mental hospital for two days before being released Sunday.

Robinson’s 6- and 10-year-old sone have been in the care of Department of Social Services since the attempted poisoning.


DSS Director Brenda Jackson said via email it had no prior history with Robinson. She said children are put in foster care based on safety and care concerns. They have to meet the state/federal criteria. As of May 2018, 850 children until 18 were in foster care in Cumberland County.

Due to confidentiality policies, Jackson said she couldn’t comment specifically on the case. 

“I’m not really familiar with that procedure. The DSS and law enforcement would be more familiar with that,” West said of the timeline of events.

Robinson will have to undergo a court-ordered mental health evaluation. Her two sons remain in DSS custody.

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