Trial scheduled for Norfolk father charged with murdering 9-month-old daughter

Posted at 3:58 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 16:35:38-04

NORFOLK, Va. - In court on Tuesday, a judge certified a murder charge for Kasiam Tinsley to the Norfolk Circuit Court, declaring there is enough probable cause in the case for it to go to trial.

Tinsley was arrested late last year after his 9-month-old baby girl, Makayla Smith, was found unresponsive on November 13, 2018.

Kasiam A. Tinsley

A medical examiner ruled the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Tuesday, the assistant chief medical examiner testified that the child also had brain hemorrhaging, brain bleeding, bruises and abrasions.

It was also discovered that there was almost nothing in the child’s stomach.

A child abuse expert from the Children’s Hospital of the King's Daughters testified that the child’s injuries are consistent with what she often sees in abuse cases.

At the time of the incident, Tinsley was living in a house with his girlfriend, who also has children. People in the house at the time of the alleged incident range from 19 years of age down to one.

Someone who was staying in the home that night testified he heard high-pitched screams coming from the baby in the middle of the night but said it did not last long. Nobody reported seeing abuse happening.

Defense attorney Melinda Seemar spoke to News 3 outside of court Tuesday, saying her client was not the only person to come in contact with the baby. She also brought up that Tinsley had custody of Makayla and her twin brother Messiah after she said the children were taken from their biological mother.

The children’s biological mother, Crystal Smith, also was in court. News 3 attempted to speak to her, but she has not given a statement to us yet.

Tinsley is charged with murder, and the case will be reviewed by the grand jury; a trial date will be set.