Mother charged with murdering her daughter pleads not guilty

Date: 2008-10-01

Ashlee Clark

WINCHESTER — A Winchester mother who has been charged with murder in the death of her 4-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Jessilyn C. Robinson, 34, was arrested Sept. 25 in the death of Faith Raeanne Robinson, who died of a closed head injury on May 29. Robinson told paramedics that Faith had fallen in the bathtub.

Robinson appeared in Clark District Court Wednesday through a video feed from Clark County jail for her arraignment. She is being held in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond. Robinson will return to district court Oct. 8 for a preliminary hearing.

Robinson’s attorney, Andrew Stephens, requested that her bond be lowered because of her cooperation in the social services investigation that began after Faith’s death. Her attorney pointed out that she made numerous appearances in family court and she never fled.

“If she had chosen to flee, she had no reason not to,” Stephens told the judge.

 Clark County District Judge Earl-Ray Neal denied the motion.

Few details have been released about the case.

Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue said last week that Jessilyn Robinson told paramedics on May 28 that Faith fell in the bathtub at her McClure Road home. Faith was initially taken to Clark Regional Medical Center and then to University of Kentucky Hospital, where she died the next day of a brain injury, Perdue said.

Doctors said the injuries were inconsistent with a fall, Perdue said.

Because Faith had no outward injuries, deputies with the sheriff’s department waited until they received the official medical examiner’s report on her autopsy before arresting Robinson on Sept. 25, Perdue said.

The medical examiner’s report stated that Faith had sustained a subdural hematoma — a traumatic brain injury — and retinal hemorrhaging, which indicated that she had been shaken violently, Perdue said.

Perdue has said that Robinson’s husband, Joseph, is not a suspect in the case because he was not home when Faith was injured.

But Cindy Strunk, Jessilyn Robinson’s mother, disagrees..

“It’s not fair,” Strunk said. “Both parents should be investigated for this.”

Strunk said both parents were “a little rough” on the 4-year-old, but doesn’t think Jessilyn Robinson abused the child.

“As a grandmother, I should’ve spoke out long before now,” said Strunk, during a telephone interview from her home in Charlestown, R.I. She said she hadn’t seen since the family since last December.

Robinson declined to comment early this week. Her husband did not respond to phone calls and e-mails requesting comment.

On his MySpace.com page, Joseph Robinson described in a June 1 blog entry his account of what happened to Faith.

“Last Wednesday our middle child, Faith, had an accident in the home and hit her head in a fall,” Robinson wrote. “She was initially OK, but increasingly became listless to the point of finally being unconscious.”

Joseph Robinson wrote that Faith was diagnosed with having “a stroke on both sides of her brain due to the bleeding caused by the injury.”

Joseph Robinson has custody of the couple’s two other children.

Before her arrest, Jessilyn Robinson had been staying at an apartment on Lexington Avenue in Winchester.

Strunk said the Robinsons adopted Faith and their youngest child, a boy, while the family lived in Rhode Island. She said the family moved to Winchester late last year.

Strunk said she is close to her daughter and grandchildren. Jessilyn Robinson had been keeping Strunk updated throughout the investigation until her arrest.

“She has said all along ever since the investigation (began) that they are putting the blame on her because she was the one at home at the time,” Strunk said.

Strunk wasn’t aware that her daughter was arrested until noon Monday.

“I don’t know about nothing,” she said. “I am in total darkness about everything.”

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