© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Man accused of kidnapping and killing Lansing toddler pleads not guilty

U.S. Attorney's Office For The Western District Of Michigan Mark Totten speaks into media microphones outside a courthouse
U.S. Attorney's Office For The Western District Of Michigan
U.S. Attorney's Office For The Western District Of Michigan Mark Totten speaks to reporters August 7, 2023.

The man accused of kidnapping and killing a 2-year-old from Lansing was arraigned in federal court in Grand Rapids on Monday.

Rashad Trice pleaded not guilty during his August 7 arraignment.

Trice has been charged kidnapping resulting in death which, if convicted, the statutory mandatory minimum sentence is life in prison. According to the Western District of Michigan, this offense is also death penalty eligible.

Trice has also been charged with the kidnapping of a minor. If convicted, he could serve a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten spoke to reporters outside the Western District of Michigan courthouse on Monday, expressing sympathy for the family of 2-year-old Wynter Cole-Smith.

“The facts, the alleged facts in this case are staggering and my deepest sympathies go out to the mother, the father, to the family in this case," Totten said. "My office is fully prepared to do everything necessary to establish the facts beyond reasonable doubt.”

Totten said his office will always do everything it can to protect children in these cases and ensure that people are held accountable.

Rashad Trice also faces 20 state charges after Michigan Attorney Gen. Dana Nessel announced last month that charges brought against Trice in Ingham, Macomb and Wayne Counties will be consolidated into one prosecution.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!