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Lansing Man Faces 20 Charges, Life in Prison for Murder, Kidnap of 2-Year-Old Wynter Cole-Smith

LANSING – Today, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced new charges against Rashad Maleek Trice, 26, of Lansing, in the case of the tragic murder of Wynter Cole-Smith, the violent assault of her mother, and the ensuing police pursuit that began in Lansing July 2nd and ended in St. Clair Shores on July 3rd. 

Trice has been charged with the following:

  • One Count First Degree Premeditated Murder, a mandatory life-sentence felony without the possibility of parole;
  • One Count Felony Murder, a mandatory life-sentence felony without the possibility of parole;
  • One Count Assault with Intent to Murder, a life-sentence felony;
  • Two Counts 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, a life-sentence felony that would mandate lifetime sex offender registration and electronic monitoring;
  • Two Counts Kidnapping, a life-sentence felony;
  • One Count Home Invasion, first degree, a 20-year felony;
  • One Count Disarming a Peace Officer, a 10-year felony;
  • One Count 2nd Degree Fleeing and Eluding, a 10-year felony
  • One Count Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property, valued between $1,000-$2,000, a 5-year felony
  • One Count Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property, motor vehicle, a 5-year felony;
  • One Count Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile, a 5-year felony
  • One Count Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, a 4-year felony;
  • One Count Resisting and Obstructing Causing Injury, a 4-year felony;
  • Three Counts Resisting and Obstructing, a 2-year felony;
  • One Count Second Degree Domestic Violence - Second Offense, a 1-year misdemeanor; and
  • One Count Stalking, a 1-year misdemeanor.

The State is charging Trice as a 4th Offense Habitual Offender.

"We have alleged today, and our many charges reflect, a horrific and brutal crime spree from Lansing to Detroit to St. Clair Shores,” said Nessel. “I remain appreciative for the coordination with Prosecutors Dewane, Lucido, and Worthy for their commitment to a singular, victim-centered prosecution that prioritizes and respects the tragic experiences of the surviving victims and the family of Wynter Cole-Smith.”

Trice is alleged to have sexually assaulted and stabbed his former girlfriend, kidnapped her daughter, Wynter, and to have stolen her mother’s car.  It is alleged Trice murdered the toddler, before resisting arrest and ultimately being apprehended in St. Clair Shores. Cole-Smith, 2, of Lansing, was discovered in a Detroit alley Wednesday, July 5th, ending a three-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies from Lansing to Detroit, Michigan State Police, and agents from the FBI.

“I am also grateful for the hard work and around-the-clock efforts of all law enforcement involved in the initial response, the pursuit of the defendant, and the search for Wynter.” added Nessel.

The Department of Attorney General recently announced an agreement between Attorney General Nessel, Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to consolidate the many charges into one prosecution. Charges previously announced against Trice by county prosecutors will be dropped now that state charges have been filed by the Attorney General. By consolidating the prosecution into one judicial forum and trial the Department seeks to minimize the traumatizing effect that multiple trials and obligations to testify would necessitate on surviving victims, witnesses, and all loved ones of Cole-Smith and her mother.    

The Department of Attorney General utilizes a victim-centered approach that will inform the course of this investigation, charging decisions, and prosecution.  At all times throughout the prosecution the experience of the many devastated by these heinous crimes will remain paramount in the prosecution strategy.

Trice is presently held at the Newaygo County jail.

The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General Cold Case Sexual Assault Project. The project is funded by a United States Department of Justice grant awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women, to combat intimate relationship violence. The grant is administered by the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board.


Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.

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