Witnesses testify Norfolk man was only caregiver home when baby suffered fatal wounds

Kasiam A. Tinsley Mugshot_1542311937094.jpg

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The man accused of killing his 9-month-old daughter was back in court Tuesday morning for a preliminary hearing.

Kasiam Tinsley was charged with second-degree murder after Makayla Smith died at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters last November.

Prosecutors say Makayla suffered bruising to her head, forehead and eyes, and had skull fractures and bleeding of the brain, along with broken ribs. The medical examiner believes Makayla suffered at least six blows to the head.

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Tinsley told detectives he didn’t cause those injuries.

“Obviously he claims every time that I go to see him that nothing has happened,” said attorney Melinda Seemar. “He doesn’t understand why he is there.”

Seemar says there are lot of questions about what happened.

“I think I’ve said all along that there a multiple people in that house,” Seemar added.

Tinsley lived with his girlfriend on Nicholson Street. There were also a combination of nine children ranging from 19 years old to 9 months old. Some were his and the others belonged to her.

On Tuesday, his girlfriend testified that she went to work November 12 and got back the next morning. 

He told her everything was fine with Makayla. He went to work and a short time later the little girl stopped breathing. She couldn’t be saved.

“He misses his children,” Seemar said. “This is a very hard time for him. One of his children just died.”

Witnesses testified that Tinsley was the primary caregiver for Makayla. Prosecutors say he was the only adult with her when her injuries occurred.

Doctors told the judge Makayla’s head injuries were caused by a violent force, either by shaking or being thrown on the floor, wall or furniture.

In a previous hearing, prosecutors said Tinsley told police a shoe box fell on to Makayla’s head, causing the injury.

“There were boxes everywhere, so that’s what he was talking about, he knew something had fallen on the child, but he really didn’t know which box it was, because he didn’t think much about it,” Seemar said. “The child seemed OK.”

The judge decided there was enough evidence to move the case to circuit court. Tinsley will stay behind bars until his trial.

“He misses the kids, he loves the kids and he wants to be home with his kids,” Seemar added. 

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