Stepfather charged with second-degree murder in beating death 3-year-old girl

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BUSHWICK, Brooklyn (PIX11) -- A Brooklyn man is accused of beating to death a 3-year-old girl and injuring a 5-year-old boy he was supposed to be taking care of.

Kelsey Smith, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder and acting in a manner injurious to a child younger than 17.

On Monday, the Medical Examiner ruled the fatal beating a homicide, and Smith's charges were upgraded to second-degree murder.

Police responded to a call Saturday afternoon in Bushwick where they found 3-year-old Jeida Torres and a 5-year-old boy covered in bruises.

Medics rushed the girl to a hospital in cardiac arrest, but she did not survive.

Her 5-year-old brother was also taken to the hospital suffering from bumps and bruises.

Police said that when they showed up shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday to the Cooper Street apartment where the children lived in Bushwick, Smith was gone, having fled to Queens.

Police were tipped off that Smith had tried to slit his wrists.

He was treated at a hospital for self-inflicted blade wounds when police charged him with the crimes.

Police said Smith is married to the children's mother and was watching them while she was at work.

Neighbors where the children and their alleged attacker live, a facility for homeless families in Bushwick, said the apartment where the abuse happened was known for aggressive behavior.

"I hear when they fight upstairs," said a woman who lives in the building. "But I don't see no more."

Giovanni Rodriguez, another neighbor, said he routinely heard fighting in the apartment, but never screaming from the children.

"Three or four times a week I'd hear it," Rodriguez said, "and never thought anything about it."

Intense screaming from the apartment on Saturday afternoon, presumably from the children, prompted neighbors to call 911.

Sunday, the Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, said that he wanted more details about the situation.

Adams also called for facilities like the one in which the children and their mother lived, which houses homeless families, to be required to report suspected abuse to authorities, much the same way doctors and psychologists are currently required.

10 comments

  • reina foster

    I hope he gets wut he deserves. He killed my niece nd beat my nephew. Left my brother to bury his baby girl nd to hve to tell his son his sister is gone. #justiceforjeida auntie luvs u

    • Julie orbin

      I am so so sorry for ur death of the beautiful niece. I am praying for justice . I am in tears why is this happening, Why was this lil baby and her brother left with that monster. GOD Rest her lil soul…

  • Julie orbin

    What is world coming to our kids are being abused by there parents. And these young kids shouldn’t be parents or even taken c as re of kids that dont belong to them. When ur a single parent why are you letting ur boyfriends watch ur chidren, OMG !!!!

  • melanie

    He need to be charged with murder what is this world coming to she had her whole life ahead of her and know she can’t even live it so sad.

  • Kevin Dondrea

    The bastard needs to be set free in General Population in prison. Then have his crime blasted through the loud speakers so all the criminals can hear what the monster did. Then the guards all need to go to lunch and let nature take it’s course. I think that about settles it.

  • shavon

    Stepfather deserves death penalty and burn I no one thing he is in jail and I hope those inmates tear his butt up and that’s going to happen R.I.P to those beautiful kids this is so sad

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