Daytona Joe-Lei Robertson
May 16, 2005 - February 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial
Could jealousy cause woman to hurt a child? Could jealousy cause a woman to hurt a child so severely that the child would die? Tommy Robertson says it could. On February 27, 2008, Daytona Robertson died of blunt force trauma to her head. Tommy says that his wife, Katie Robertson caused the death of her stepdaughter:

"I've never seen Katie smack Daytona or hit her or anything like that. I really feel that she was jealous 
of the love that she knew my daughter and I had."


Called DayDay by her family, Daytona was a lovable little girl who had her father wrapped around her finger. If she was handing him tools at the auto shop or wearing high heals, she was the light of his life. Tommy talked of what a good girl his daughter was:

"She hardly ever got in trouble because if she did, she'd have a look about her. Then you'd feel 
bad and pick her up and hug her."

Police say that case came to light when Katie Robertson called emergency personnel stating that her stepdaughter had begun to have seizures on February 25, 2008. Katie was arrested for aggravated battery. Five days later, Daytona Robertson died from her injuries. Police would meet with the District Attorney's office to discuss if there
would be further charges.

"I don't know what led up to the injuries, but i do know that according the step-mother the 
little girl began having seizures and that is when EMS was summoned" 
Wichita Police Captain Randy Landen

On February 29, 2008, Katie was formally charged with first degree murder in the death of Daytona. In court District Judge Eric Yost set her bond at $100,000. and ordered her to stay away from and not contact her husband Tommy, at all.

Katie's family was upset with the charges filed against her:

"I'm amazed at the single mindedness of the police department in the investigation of this murder. 
They never even bothered to entertain any other ideas besides that one."
T.J. Cornejo - Katie's brother

Rhonda Cornejo, Katie's mother said that the family was tired of being quite about the case and that her daughter was a loving mother and would never lay a hand on any child:

"I know she didn't do it. I know she didn't do anything but love that little girl as much as she could."

Katie allegedly broke that bond agreement by following Tommy to a mall and then then to the police station when he went to report her to the police. While visiting the grave of his daughter, Mike Hundley saw a note that had apparently been placed there by Katie. The note would be turned over to Tommy who would inform the police that the note seemed to indicate that Katie was planning to commit suicide. Katie's mother would deny that she was suicidal at all and say that she had been visiting Daytona's grave every day.

Police were in the process of trying to get a bond revocation hearing and were able to do that, however, shortly before she would have returned to court to possibly have her bond revoked, Katie Robertson was found in a room at the home of a friend. Katie was found in an unconscious state. 

Taken to the hospital, Katie would undergo an emergency C-section and her son would be born on April 23, 2008, weighing only one pound and nineteen ounces. He would only live for 20 hours before his family told him good bye. He was held by them and then he died.

Tommy Robertson would blame the courts for the death of his child saying that if they had kept Katie in custody and under their care, she would not have been able to try to kill herself and his son would still have been safe and healthy inside the womb.

Rhonda also said that Katie was devastated by the death of Daytona, who was her stepdaughter and that weeks later when her biological daughter, Kailee died at a home day care center, she just couldn't take any  more. She says that Katie took a prescription drugs and sleeping pills in an attempt to kill herself:

"I don't believe in suicide. But I can't sit here and judge her either."

Katie was moved to a treatment center to get psychological counseling and to recover physically from what she had gone through. Katie's family says they love her and they will stand by her even though it is hard to do at times:

"I get around my sister and I'm at a loss for words. I can't find something positive to tell her 
about her life right now."
T.J. Cornejo

"Why is this happening to us? What did we do to deserve this? We didn't do anything. We're just as much victims here. We've lost children and we've lost Katie 
Rhonda Cornejo

Mark Orr, the public defender in Katie's case would say in court that he felt Katie should be allowed to be out on bond and would do better with her family where she could receive treatment saying that she was on medication and no longer suicidal.

The Prosecutor, Justin Edwards, said that on April 20, Katie had violated the court order to not have contact with Tommy or any other people who would be witnesses in the case against her. Justin said that it seemed odd that Katie spent time across the street from the auto body shop owned by Tommy and that later in the day she was  at the Towne East Square at the exact time he was there visiting friend. Tommy had also received a disturbing text message from one of Katie's friends who was with her at that time.

Mark Orr claimed that Katie had had no contact with Tommy and that it was a coincidence that she had seem him at the mall and as soon as she saw him, she left the mall. 

District Judge Clark Owens said it was "amazingly coincidental" that Katie was at the mall the same time as Tommy and that a text message sent through a third party was a violation of the bond agreement. The Judge said that Katie had known and approved of the text message.

In June of 2008, District Judge Clark Owens ruled that Katie should be in jail, for her own safety, during the time she faces a charge of murder for Daytona's death. The Judge also found that Katie had violated the order to have no contact with Tommy and after the discussion of if she should remain in jail with a temporary revocation of her bond the Judge said his main concern is for her to be healthy during this time:

"We need to get to the bottom of these allegations in the murder case"

Daytona's family donated her organs so that other children could live full, productive and happy lives.

A memorial fund has been established for Daytona Robertson. Donations can be sent to:

Daytona Robertson Fund
Chisholm Trail State Bank
Bel Aire or Park City


UPDATE:

Today is June 15, 2014 and while searching for further information on Daylee's case, I was unable to find anything new.

UPDATE: September 9, 2014

In September of 2014, it was reported that Katie Cornejo was sentenced to 61 to 71 months in prison for voluntary manslaughter. District Judge Clark Owens began his sentencing by saying:

"There's probably not going to be anyone in this courtroom that's happy with the result"

Alice Osburn, Katie's lawyer, had asked that the judge not use the sentencing guidelines and instead give her client probation or a lighter sentence. In court, family members gave speeches about what they remembered about Daytona and Katie's mother and brother were still claiming she was innocent.

Judge Owens said there was no reason not to go by the sentencing guidelines when all of the facts of the case came in to play:

"There's on thing that everybody in this courtroom can agree on and that's that the death
of a child is a tragedy to everybody"

Tommy Robertson, Daytona's father, said that he was glad that this was over and behind them. Natasha Paul, Daytona's mother said she is still bitter about what happened:

"I hope she rots in Hell and I hope someday she gets what she deserves"


Thank you to Julie for sending me this update.

Please visit the pages of all three siblings in this family:
Kailee Rhianne Hundley
Read a message from Katie's cousin

Death Occurred in the state of Kansas

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