NORFOLK, Va. — A judge certified a second-degree murder charge for 28-year-old Kasiam Tinsley on Tuesday. 

The judge said there is an enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Tinsley is charged with the death of his nine-month-old daughter Makayla. She died at CHKD in November 2018.  

At Tuesday’s hearing, several people testified including the assistant chief medical examiner, Tinley’s girlfriend, A Norfolk Fire paramedic, a person who stayed with Tinsley, a Norfolk detective, and the CHKD Medical Director.

Norfolk’s assistant medical director said nine-month-old Makayla died from blunt force trauma to the head. The baby had skull fractures, chest bruising, and brain hemorrhages. 

Tinsley’s attorney, Melinda Seemar said her client told her he doesn’t know how it happened.

Seemar said, “He’s obviously in jail right now. He obviously claims every time I go to see him that nothing has happened, and he doesn’t understand why he is there.”

Another person to testify was Tinsley’s current girlfriend. She told the court Makayla and her twin brother lived with her and Tinsley since June 2018. 

The day before Makayla died, she said she left Tinsley alone with several young children and teens. 

She said when she returned home from work the next morning, Makayla had bruises and scratches on her face. She also said the baby was cold and not breathing. 

Tinsley’s girlfriend said she immediately called Tinsley and he told her to dial 911.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office played the 911 tape. You can hear Tinsley’s girlfriend panicking saying, “hang in there baby.” You can also hear her say, “Stay with me baby.”


A 19-year-old man also testified and said the night before the baby’s death he heard a child crying and believes it was Makayla. He said he then heard Tinsley wake up and swear, then heard what sounded like someone trip. Soon after he said the baby stopped crying.

Tinsley’s attorney argued that several people were in the house the night the alleged crime occurred. She said there is no evidence linking Tinsley to the crime.

“I’m very concerned about that," she said. "He was there along with four or five other people.”

Tinsley’s case heads to a grand jury then to trial. Seemar said her client is sticking by his innocence.

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