Norfolk father charged with murdering 9-month-old daughter indicted on all charges

Posted at 4:47 PM, Apr 04, 2019

NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk father who was charged with murdering his 9-month-old daughter in November 2018 has been indicted on all charges.

Appearing in Norfolk Circuit Court Wednesday, Kasiam Tinsley was indicted on the following charges, all of which are felonies:

  • one count of 2nd Degree Murder
  • two counts of Child Abuse/Neglect
  • one count of Malicious Wounding
  • one count of Child Cruelty

Tinsley was arrested late last year after his 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. In court in early March, 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 in March, 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, Crystal Smith.

News 3 reporter Rachael Cardin spoke to Smith a day after a judge found there was enough probable cause to support a murder charge and move Tinsley’s case to Norfolk Circuit Court. She said she does not think Tinsley is the only one who hurt the infant, and she knows the abuse must have been going on for some time.

“If I could give my life for hers, I’d do it in a heartbeat because it doesn’t feel right for her not to be here,” said Smith.

A trial date for Tinsley has not yet been set.