New York Post

July 27, 2002

MOM SLAYS DAUGHTER, 7, IN STAB SPREE: COPS

By PHILIP MESSING, KIRAN RANDHAWA and CLEMENTE LISI
New York Post

PHOTO
TRAGEDY IN BED-STUY:
Cops examine the knife used in the murder of Tashima Billingslea. Cops say her mom stabbed the girl, herself and a friend.

- T. Hinton
July 27, 2002 -- A Brooklyn mother fatally stabbed her 7-year-old daughter 30 times yesterday, then tried to kill a friend before stabbing herself several times, police sources said.

Police said the tiny body of Tashima Billingslea was found in her first-floor apartment on Greene Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant at around 11:30 a.m. Cops believe she was stabbed to death by her 27-year-old mother, Yolanda Billingslea.

"As soon as [police] kicked in the door, they discovered the child," Police Inspector Michael Harrington said.

Police rushed the tot, known affectionately as "Tata," to Woodhull Hospital, where she died an hour later.

Cops discovered the carnage when they found Iashia Bird, 24, lying on the ground in front of a nearby building on Greene Avenue with 15 stab wounds to the face, back, chest and arms, police said.

Police officers then followed a trail of blood to the apartment, where they found Tashima's body and her mother, who was bleeding from several stab wounds.

Police said Billingslea then tried to commit suicide.

A pair of scissors and two black-handled kitchen knives were recovered, police said.

Billingslea was taken to Woodhull Hospital and Bird, who neighbors said is the suspect's friend, went to Kings County Hospital. Both women are listed in serious but stable condition, authorities said.

Witnesses said the two women got into a fight in the apartment that then spilled over into the street when the mother chased Tashima. The little girl then tried to run away.

Investigators - who are trying to determine what the fight was about - said that's when the mother caught the girl.

Billingslea ran back into the apartment and came out seconds later with a pair of scissors as terrified residents looked on in horror.

"She just kept stabbing her [Bird]," said Lillie Davis, 65, who saw the stabbing from across the street. "There was lots of blood everywhere. There was blood all over her back."

Police said a good Samaritan, who was not identified, was parking her car nearby and tried to stop the fight. Another man, who also tried to help, was slashed. He suffered minor injuries.

Tashima's aunt, Belinda McKinnies, said her sister-in-law has talked about suicide in the past, but she couldn't believe that Tashima was killed.

"She was my baby. I raised her. I nursed her when she was sick," McKinnies said, tears streaming down her face as she hugged a picture of Tashima. "The mother is crazy and suicidal."

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