Mother gets 10 years for child’s death

Date: 2009-11-13

By Fred Petke
November 13, 2009

A noticeably thinner Jessilyn Robinson tried to hold herself together before the judge Thursday afternoon, before she received her 10-year sentence.

Sniffles could be heard as Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse sentenced her to 10 years for killing her 4-year-old daughter 18 months ago.

Robinson was charged last summer with murder, but she pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in September. Her attorney, Scott West, made a plea for probation Thursday, citing her remorse and weight loss in jail, but Clouse said Robinson received enough of a break with the plea agreement. Robinson would be eligible to meet the parole board after serving another 11 months, West said.

“I’ve reviewed this matter … and tried to understand your viewpoint on this issue,” Clouse said. “It’s hard for this court to believe to allow you probation at this time. This is a very serious charge. The commonwealth amended the charge … and that is all the break you are entitled to.”

Robinson, 35 of Lexington Ave., had adopted Faith Raeanne Robinson when her family lived in Rhode Island, police said. They had lived in Winchester less than a year when the girl was injured at the family’s home on McClure Road. Police said Jessilyn Robinson told paramedics that her daughter fell in the bathtub. Paramedics noticed no outward signs of trauma and transported the girl to a Lexington hospital, where she died the following day.

An autopsy found injuries consistent with being shaken, police said.

Jessilyn Robinson was arrested and charged with murder in September 2008.

Joseph Robinson, Jessilyn’s husband, was not home at the time and was not a suspect.

West said he had worked out a probation and after-care plan for the court’s consideration.

“In the entire time I’ve represented her … I’ve never had a conversation with her where she did not fall to tears over the loss of her child,” West said. “She is very remorseful.”

Clouse mentioned a letter he received from Robinson in which she said she believed her life was over, and that she had lost 75 pounds while staying in the Clark County Detention Center.

“I believe I read in one of your letters that you believe your life is over,” Clouse said. “This is not the end of your life. I hope you will look at this as an opportunity, believe it or not, to change your life. I wish you well.”

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