In a shocking and heinous crime spree that spread across three different counties, Rashad Maleek Trice, a 26-year-old man, has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder in the tragic death of 2-year-old Wynter Cole Smith.
Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel, filed the murder charges on Friday, along with 18 other charges stemming from the crime spree, which took place in July.
Trice’s violent past and federal charges have further escalated the severity of the case, and federal prosecutors have argued for the possibility of the death penalty. Here is a detailed account of the horrifying events leading up to the charges.
Lansing, Detroit, and St. Clair Shores Crime Spree
Trice’s alleged crime spree began on July 2-3 when he reportedly stabbed and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend in Lansing. He then abducted her 2-year-old daughter, Wynter Cole Smith, and embarked on a chilling sequence of events.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Homicide charges filed in death of 2-year-old Wynter Cole Smith https://t.co/GbCb9vncFA
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) July 21, 2023
Trice is accused of strangling the innocent toddler with a phone cord, leaving her lifeless body in a Detroit alley. Following the murder, he attempted to evade the police in St. Clair Shores.
Charges and Consolidation
The charges filed against Trice include first-degree premeditated murder, felony murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, assault with intent to murder, home invasion, and various other serious offenses.
A total of 18 charges have been consolidated into a single case in Ingham County, streamlining the legal process and ensuring that family, witnesses, and law enforcement can efficiently participate in the proceedings.
Federal Charges and Death Penalty Possibility
In addition to the state charges, Trice is also facing federal charges of kidnapping and kidnapping causing death. Federal prosecutors argue that he kidnapped Wynter in “retaliation” for a prior altercation with the girl’s mother.
Trice’s actions triggered an Amber Alert, leading to a massive search effort involving multiple agencies. Wynter’s lifeless body was eventually discovered in an alley in east Detroit on July 5, after Trice’s location was traced through cellphone data.
Violent Criminal Past
Trice’s criminal history is marked by violence, with records showing domestic violence, assault, and resisting and obstructing police in multiple Michigan counties.
He had previously been charged with assaulting Wynter’s mother and resisting, obstructing, or assaulting police in May 2021, resulting in a conviction in 2022. Despite this, Trice was released on probation until January 27, 2024, as indicated by Michigan Department of Corrections records.
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