Austin, MN (KROC-AM News) - A man serving a life sentence for a murder in Wisconsin in 2019 has been returned to Minnesota to face murder charges.

40-year-old Dariez Lewis Higgins was transferred to the Mower County Jail this week and was formally arraigned this morning on two counts of second-degree murder. He is scheduled to return to court next week for a plea hearing with his trial tentatively scheduled to begin in May.


The charges were filed against Higgins in 2020. It's alleged he caused the death of his 2-year-old daughter. The tiny body of Noelani Robinson was discovered in March 2019 wrapped in a blanket in the ditch along Highway 218 near Blooming Prairie.

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The criminal complaint says Higgins told investigators the girl died after she fell off a toilet in an Austin motel room and struck her head, but an autopsy found Noelani died from non-accidental blunt force trauma injuries to her head. Higgins later gave a statement to investigators and stated he left the child's remains in the ditch while driving to the Twin Cities in a snowstorm in March of 2019.


At the time, little Noelani was the subject of an Amber alert issued by police in Milwaukee Wisconsin. The alert went out shortly after the child's mother was murdered and a four-year-old girl was wounded in the attack by Higgins in the Wisconsin city.

READ MORE: Man Accused of Killing Girl in Austin Admits Killing Her Mother

He was convicted of a first-degree murder charge in Wisconsin in 2021 for the shooting death of 24-year-old Sierra Robinson. He also entered a guilty plea to an attempted murder charge for wounding the other child. Prosecutors say the girl had accompanied Robinson while she traveled to Milwaukee from Las Vegas in hopes of obtaining custody of Noelani from Higgins.

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