NEW YORK (PIX11) – A stepfather accused of killing a 3-year-old girl and wounding her 5-year-old brother made his first court appearance Wednesday via closed-circuit television from a hospital where he’s being held after a suicide attempt.
Kelsey Smith, 20, will remain in custody at Bellevue Hospital until Friday, his next scheduled court date, a judge decided. Smith is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his stepdaughter Jeida Torres.
He was supposed to be taking care of the children while their mother – his wife – was at work. But investigators said he allegedly became violent when the toddler soiled her clothing.
Neighbors heard screaming from the family’s apartment in a Bushwick homeless shelter and called 911.
Police responded about 4 p.m. Oct. 18 to the Cooper Street home. There, they found the girl mortally wounded and her brother covered in bruises.
By the time officers arrived, investigators said Smith had run away to Queens where he slit his wrists in an apparent suicide attempt. He was ultimately captured and taken to a hospital, where he’ll remain until at least the end of the week.