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Mich. Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Ex's 2-Year-Old Daughter After Argument and Strangling Girl to Death

Rashad Trice admitted to strangling Wynter Cole-Smith with a phone cord in July 2023

<p>Lansing Police Department/ Facebook</p> Wynter Cole-Smith

Lansing Police Department/ Facebook

Wynter Cole-Smith

A Michigan man pleaded guilty to kidnapping his former girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in 2023, leading to the girl's death, according to a plea agreement reviewed by PEOPLE.

Rashad Trice pleaded guilty to a federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death, prosecutors say. He now faces life in prison and will be sentenced in July.

Trice’s ex-girlfriend alerted police on July 2, 2023 after an altercation with him. According to the criminal complaint, the woman said she stabbed Trice in self-defense, after which she claimed he stabbed her before she was able to flee the home.

When police arrived at the home, they found that Trice and the woman’s 2-year-old daughter, Wynter Cole-Smith, were missing, the complaint says.

Related: Man Charged with Kidnapping and Killing 2-Year-Old Daughter of Ex-Girlfriend

According to the plea agreement, Trice admitted to taking Wynter in a Chevrolet Impala and driving toward the Detroit area. Trice played the toddler a YouTube video “in an attempt to pacify” her before strangling her to death with a phone cord in Detroit.

<p>Lansing Police Department/Twitter</p> Rashad Trice

Lansing Police Department/Twitter

Rashad Trice

“What happened is heart-wrenching, but today marks an important step forward as we seek justice for Wynter Cole-Smith’s family and the people of Michigan,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten said in a statement. “I’m incredibly grateful to FBI Michigan, the Lansing Police Department, and the more than two dozen other local, state, and federal partners who came running to help.”

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Trice was arrested on July 3, 2023, when he was spotted by police without Wynter. Police said at the time that Trice sped off after being seen but crashed into a patrol car before resisting arrest at the crash scene.

Wynter’s body was found near Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit days after she was kidnapped.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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