Man faces up to 20 charges and life in prison for murder, kidnap of 2-year-old
Rashad Maleek Trice, a local resident, is facing a staggering 20 charges, including murder and kidnapping, that could potentially result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of a two-year-old.
The Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, announced these grave charges against Trice on July 21, 2023. The charges are the culmination of a series of violent incidents that began in Lansing and ended in St. Clair Shores.
The victims of this horrifying crime spree were a young mother and her two-year-old daughter, Wynter Cole-Smith. Trice, who was previously in a relationship with the mother, is alleged to have committed sexual assault and stabbed her before kidnapping her daughter, Wynter as reported by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
Unraveling the charges against Rashad Maleek Trice
Trice is facing a litany of charges, including two counts of first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder. Both of these charges carry mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole. He is also charged with assault with intent to murder, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and two counts of kidnapping.
These charges paint a grim picture of the severity of the crimes Trice is alleged to have committed.
Additional charges include home invasion, disarming a peace officer, second-degree fleeing and eluding, receiving and concealing stolen property, unlawfully driving away an automobile, assault with a dangerous weapon, resisting and obstructing causing injury, three counts of resisting and obstructing, second-degree domestic violence - second offense, and stalking.
The state is charging Trice as a 4th Offense Habitual Offender, which further compounds the severity of his situation.
Attorney General Nessel expressed her appreciation for the coordination between prosecutors Dewane, Lucido, and Worthy, who are committed to a singular, victim-centered prosecution that prioritizes and respects the tragic experiences of the surviving victims and the family of Wynter Cole-Smith.
The heartbreaking conclusion of the crime spree
After the assault and kidnapping, Trice is alleged to have murdered the toddler, Wynter, and stolen her mother's car.
Wynter's body was found in a Detroit alley on July 5th, ending a three-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies from Lansing to Detroit, Michigan State Police, and agents from the FBI.
The discovery of Wynter's body marked a tragic end to the desperate search for the missing toddler.
Trice was apprehended in St. Clair Shores after resisting arrest. He is currently held at the Newaygo County jail. Attorney General Nessel stated,
"We have alleged today, and our many charges reflect, a horrific and brutal crime spree from Lansing to Detroit to St. Clair Shores."
Consolidation of charges and a victim-centered approach
The Department of Attorney General recently announced an agreement to consolidate the many charges into one prosecution.
This decision was made to minimize the traumatizing effect that multiple trials and obligations to testify would have on surviving victims, witnesses, and all loved ones of Cole-Smith and her mother.
This approach underscores the commitment of the Department of Attorney General to ensure justice for the victims.
The Department of Attorney General uses a victim-centered approach that will inform the course of this investigation, charging decisions, and prosecution.
The experience of the many devastated by these heinous crimes will remain paramount in the prosecution strategy. This approach ensures that the voices and experiences of the victims are at the forefront of the proceedings.
The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General Cold Case Sexual Assault Project.
This highlights the commitment of the Department of Attorney General to address and combat violence within intimate relationships.
- Rashad Maleek Trice faces 20 charges, including murder and kidnapping, which could lead to a life sentence without parole.
- The victims of this horrific crime spree were a young mother and her two-year-old daughter, Wynter Cole-Smith.
- Trice is alleged to have sexually assaulted and stabbed the mother before kidnapping her daughter, Wynter.
- After the assault and kidnapping, Trice is alleged to have murdered the toddler, Wynter, and stolen her mother's car.
- Trice was apprehended in St. Clair Shores after resisting arrest. He is currently held at the Newaygo County jail.
- The Department of Attorney General recently announced an agreement to consolidate the many charges into one prosecution.