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Indianapolis mom charged with murder, confinement of 5-year-old appears in court

Mom charged with murder in death of 5-year-old

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis mom made her initial court appearance Tuesday after she was charged in the death of her 5-year-old daughter Kinsleigh Welty.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced 29-year-old Toni McClure’s charges on Tuesday. She faces murder, criminal confinement, and battery charges for her alleged role in Welty’s death last week.

Prosecutors also filed a request asking for a Life Without Parole Sentencing Enhancement for McClure. The judge set McClure’s trial for June 24. Given the murder charge, she will be held without bond until then.

McClure’s boyfriend, Ryan Smith, is also charged in Welty’s death. He made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday.

Smith is charged with three counts of neglect and one count of criminal confinement.

Smith was arrested last week and released after posting his $50,000 bond. His trial is set for June 18.

Welty’s grandmother and McClure’s mother, Tammy Halsey, was also arrested for neglect of a dependent for her alleged role in the girl’s death.

According to court documents, just before 5:15 p.m. last Tuesday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was sent to a home on the city’s southwest side in the 6500 block of Denver Drive on a report of an unresponsive child.

Upon arrival, they found an unresponsive 5-year-old girl who was later identified as Welty. According to the probable cause affidavit, the girl appeared to be malnourished.

Welty was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children, where medical staff pronounced her dead. Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears described “starvation and dehydration” as the reasons for her death.

According to court docs, McClure later admitted to police that she had been keeping Welty in a closet in her mobile home for several months and was feeding her one small meal a day. She said she knew her daughter needed help, but did nothing because she was afraid of losing her other children.

Detectives said the closet Welty was kept in smelled of urine and feces. She weighed more at 2.5 years old than she did at 5 years old.

Smith told police Welty had been left in the closet since Thanksgiving.

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