- March 25, 2008
A Grave Memorial
a bottle while she was trying to sleep after working late and then
to visit her boyfriend. Jessica Cummings decided to take care of the
Rhianne Marie Hundley had recently celebrated her very first birthday.
Pictures were taken of her as she ate birthday cake and opened presents.
the family who loved her so much, would have to prepare themselves to
good bye to her.
big plans for her. We knew what we wanted for her.
And we can't
- Kailee's Aunt
spite of an open
investigation against her by the Kansas Department Of Health And
Jessica Cummings ran a home daycare and was licensed in the state of
BY the state of Kansas to take care of children in her home. On March
2008, Kailee was dropped off at this home daycare. That would be the
time her family would see her alive.
was bothered by the crying and noises that Kailee was making
strapped Kailee into her car seat, which was too small for her, tightly
strapping her in she the put her in a laundry room bathroom for a nap.
Two hours went by before she would check on Kailee and by then, she
already be dead. It would later be revealed that Kailee strangled on
car seat strap. Kailee's family said that if they had known naps were
in car seats, she never would have been going to that daycare and they
wouldn't have to attend a funeral for her:
it now and that's just really sucks."
that Kailee was big enough to use a toddler car seat which was in the
at all times. Comments by Tressa Hays confirm that Kailee enjoyed going
to this daycare and that it was thought that Jessica
did a good
job. Tressa says she believes that the death of her niece was an
though she still said Jessica is to blame:
believe Jessica loved her. That's why I'm trying to find in my heart to
not hate her
now I do"
neighbor and friend
of Jessica's said that she had spent time in her daycare when she
her daughter over for play dates. The friend said that Jessica loved
and was good at her job. The friend also said that she would trust
with her daughter and that even though she was hurting for both
she would support Jessica through this case.
Of Health And Environment was investigating Jessica and said they
speak about the case since it was still an open case. Jessica had been
licensed since August, though that license had been suspended since the
death of Kailee.
over the case to the district attorney which is procedure in cases of
death of a child. The police also wouldn't comment on the Kansas
Of Health And Environments on going investigation and didn't
release the cause of Kailee's death.
sole custody of Kailee since her mother had recently been jailed on
in the first degree murder of a stepdaughter, Daytona Robertson who was
the daughter of her then husband, Tommy Robertson.
29, 2008, family and friends gathered at the Westlink Christian Church
to pay their respects and say their good byes to Kailee at her funeral.
April 16, 2008,
Jessica Cummings was in court facing the charge of involuntary
It was revealed around that same time that the investigation against
was due to not reporting suspected child abuse and instead just taking
pictures of the abuse that took place towards a two year old girl that
she took care of. The complaint was filed the day after Daytona
died of child abuse. Kailee and Daytona were stepsisters who both
Jessica's daycare. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 30th
Jessica was let
jail on a
upset about the charge saying it was not severe enough for what she had
done to Kailee:
bad as it gets. Losing your child, your baby. It doesn't get any worse
another slap in the face. Another punch in the gut"
the even though they hold Jessica Cummings accountable for the death of
Kailee, they feel that her death was not done intentionally. Tressa
disagreed with them:
about that day was preventable"
going to meet with the Safe Kids Coalition to help in finding ways to
regulations for daycare providers.
December of 2008,
Jessica Cummings was back in court where she would say that she didn't
mean any harm to Kailee Jessica also stated that she knew the procedure
when putting children down for naps and that it included that children
under the age of 18 months MUST sleep in a crib or a play pen:
seat, not an infant carrier, not a stroller attachment"
John Stang said that Jessica could not have known that Kailee was in
danger by being put down for a nap in the car seat since this is
parents have done often when taking their children on long car trips.
Stang had a diagram showing how close Jessica was to the area where
8 feet away?"
said that Jessica could not have foreseen what would happen to Kailee
that Deborah Johnson, the coroner who did the autopsy on Kailee, said
had never seen a case like this.
Dr. Johnson also say? She said in no uncertain terms never leave a
in a car seat."
that Kailee had been improperly strapped into the car seat and had
down allowing the straps to strangle her.
jury took about
five hours to find her guilty of the charge of involuntary
Jessica is facing more than 2 1/2 years in prison for her part in the
of Kailee Robertson. In order to find Jessica guilty the jury had to
to the conclusion that she had put Kailee in danger deliberately by
her into the car seat and leaving her alone in the bathroom:
difficult case, they followed the law"
District Attorney Shannon Wilson
verdict, Jessica broke down into tears. Kailee's family was also crying.
if any good comes out of this, it will get people to realize the risks
to children by leaving
in a car seat"
District Attorney Shannon Wilson
months pregnant at the time of her hearing and would leave the court
free on bond.
October 9, 2008,
Kailee's great grandmother, Opal Marie Hundley died. Kailee is now
with a grandmother who loved her. A memorial fund has been set up for
at Intrust Bank.
was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, such a small
price to pay for what she did to this little Angel. In March of 2013,
the Kansas Supreme Court was considering an appeal based on questions
of intent and if the jury should have been given instruction requested
by the defense, on rules related to convicting someone of involuntary
manslaughter if it was believed to be a "freak accident".
find it disgusting that this woman killed a child, took that child away
from her parents for the rest of their lives, yet she doesn't seem to
feel she should have to do less than three years in prison.
Supreme Court ruled that Jessica deserved a new trial based on the
improper instructions to the jury about endangering a child. Jessica
said that the state needed to prove that she knew putting Kailee into a
car seat would be dangerous for her. I guess all of the warnings all
over car seats about how you SHOULD
NOT leave a child unattended in a cars eat were not enough to
make her realize the danger she put children in.
Forensic Pathologist said that Kailee was too big for this car set and
her weight had caused the seat to tip forward putting a strain on her
neck and regardless of how small or big the car seat was, a child
should not be left unattended in a car seat, also pointing out that the
seat warnings indicated the same. Jessica said that thought it was safe
and she had even put her own children in that very car seat.
Jessica was paroled on April
so much. I miss your beautiful smile and your bright blue eyes. I miss
your big big wet kisses and your high fives. This world does not seem
but one day I will be in heaven with you.
have fun with your big sister "Day Day" and your little brother Daylee.
I miss you and love you, You are forever my baby.
Cummings was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the
death of a 13-month-old girl found dead partially strapped in a car
while at day care. On March 25, 2008, the child died and was found two
hours later in the bathroom partially strapped in her car seat. New
report she was placed in a bathroom partially strapped in her infant
to finish her bottle.
caregiver supervision and an effective strategy that keeps the child in
the caregiver’s view reduces the frequency of injury. It is also known
that a lapse in supervision where the child is not in view correlates
a higher incidence of child injury. This may seem to be an obvious
However, even if the caregiver is highly conscientious there remains an
increased risk for injury during intervals when the child is not in
So whether a child caregiver is regarded as highly conscientious or
conscientious, the risk for injury to a child is still higher when the
child is not in the view of the caregiver. Close supervision
directly to reduced events of injury.
child has died
tragically at a day care, from a day care provider's neglect. This is
death. The Keane Law Firm represents children that have been
injured from neglect by day care providers. Please call us, the child
law firm for a timely case evaluation at 888-592-KIDS or
You may visit our website at www.keanelaw.com – we will determine the
of the case and file a claim to hold those responsible to pay for the
In a child death lawsuit, we will recover for our clients.
pages of all three siblings in this family:
Death occurred in the
state of Kansas
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