The Brooklyn man who allegedly beat his three-year-old stepdaughter to death in a Bushwick homeless shelter last month has been charged with her murder, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
According to a release from D.A. Thompson's office, Kelsey Smith, 20, was arraigned today and charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree manslaughter, one count of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. These charges stem from the October 18th death of 3-year-old Jeida Torres; authorities say that Smith "kicked Jeida and smashed her head into a crib" after she soiled her diaper at their homeless shelter at 38 Cooper Street in Bushwick. Smith also allegedly struck her 5-year-old brother, Andrew, when he tried to stop him.
Last month, Smith was charged with assault in connection with Jeida's death. Those charges have since been upgraded to murder. "This defendant was a father figure to these two helpless children and instead of protecting and caring for them he allegedly used his fists to beat to death an innocent little girl," Thompson said in a statement today. "Her five-year-old brother was also attacked. Now the defendant will be held accountable for these cowardly acts."
Smith was ordered held without bail. He will return to court in February.