Moral Low Ground


12-Year-Old Kentucky Shooting Victim Taylor Cornett Dies

January 16, 2013 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments
Caitlin (L), Jackie and Taylor Cornett. (Photo:

Caitlin (L), Jackie and Taylor Cornett. (Photo:

A 12-year-old girl who was shot along with her father and cousin on Tuesday in the parking lot of a Kentucky community college has died.

Taylor Cornett, a sixth-grader at R.W. Combs Elementary School in Perry County, died a day after her father, 53-year-old Jackie Cornett, and his niece, 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett, were shot to death in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard. The alleged gunman, 21-year-old Dalton Lee Stidham, turned himself in to police following the shooting. Stidham reportedly purchased the gun used in the shooting just hours earlier and just one day after he and Caitlin Cornett appeared in court to argue over custody of Jaydien Miller, their 2-year-old son.

Stidham, who has been charged with murder, has reportedly confessed to the shootings. “I snapped, shot three people, I’m sure,” he allegedly told police. Intentional, multiple homicides could potentially qualify as an aggravating circumstance that could result in a death sentence if Stidham is convicted.

According to a legal motion filed by Caitlin Cornett during the custody dispute, Stidham had a history of drug abuse and “issues with his temper.”

At Monday’s hearing, a judge ordered joint custody of the child for Cornett and Stidham, with Cornett named primary caregiver. Stidham was assigned visitation hours of between 9 a.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesdays. The deadly shooting took place during such a custody swap. Stidham allegedly fired several shots into the vehicle carrying the three Cornetts as it pulled into the community college parking lot. Jackie and Caitlin were shot multiple times. Taylor was critically injured and rushed to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington. Jaydien was unharmed.

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