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Press Release

Trice Pleads Not Guilty During Arraignment In Wynter Cole-Smith Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Rashad Maleek Trice, 26, was arraigned for kidnapping two-year-old Wynter Cole-Smith, resulting in her death and kidnapping a minor. Trice was charged by criminal complaint on July 7, 2023, to secure his immediate detention, and indicted on July 26 to satisfy his constitutional right to federal indictment by a grand jury. During today’s arraignment before Magistrate Judge Ray Kent, Trice was formally read the charges against him and pleaded not guilty.

          “Today’s hearing marks yet another step ahead in the judicial process, and my office is fully prepared to make our case against Mr. Trice at a fair trial,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My thoughts continue to be with the family as we seek a measure of justice following the heartbreaking loss of Wynter Cole-Smith.”

          Trice is charged with two counts.  The first count is kidnapping resulting in death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1).  If convicted, the statutory mandatory minimum sentence is life in prison. This offense is also death penalty eligible. The second count is kidnapping of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1201(a)(1) and (g)(1).  If convicted, the statutory mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of life in prison. 

          "The sadness for those of us working the case is outmatched by our resolve and focus on the continued, careful work supporting the prosecution. Over 30 law enforcement agencies banded together on this case, culminating in tremendous heroism by those Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores Police Officers apprehending the accused and by those FBI Agents who recovered Wynter,” said Devin J. Kowalski, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Thank you to all the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and the women and men of the FBI for your relentless, courageous work.  Thank you to the community for your help and support of law enforcement in this case," said Devin J. Kowalski, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan.”

          The charges in an arraignment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.


Updated August 7, 2023

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