Oakland County man charged with child abuse, torture after 3-year-old girl dies

Man in custody, denied bond

Man charged with child abuse, torture of 3-year-old girl in Holly Township

HOLLY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An Oakland County man has been charged with child abuse and torture after a 3-year-old girl was pronounced dead last weekend.

Samuel Lester Smart is being held in the Oakland County lockup after a judge denied his bond. He’s charged with beating Trinity Chandler, who was pronounced dead on Saturday in Holly Township.

READ: Family says Child Protective Services had been called prior to death of 3-year-old Holly Township girl

Family members said Trinity’s mother was working an overnight shift at a nursing home when she got a text from her Smart. They said Smart reported that Trinity wasn’t waking up and he took her to a nearby fire station.

An Michigan State Police investigator told the court that there is video of the little girl being abused. Just a day before she was pronounced dead, Child Protective Services did a welfare check on her.

Trinity Chandler is Ronda Osterberg’s great-niece.

“They failed her. They failed her big time,” Ronda Osterberg said. “There were two black eyes, there was a bruise on her cheek -- CPS closed the case.”

The family said they’re devastated.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.