“I’ll probably do the rest of my life in prison,” an accused child-killer tells a police officer in Michigan while handcuffed and curbed.
The officer briefly raises his own hands into the air and replies: “I can’t say so.” But the accused man is adamant: “I can tell you now.”
Rashad Maleek Trice, 26, was arrested on July 3 after a high-speed chase ended in a seemingly intentional-and-police-engineered crash on a four-lane highway in the city of St. Clair Shores, which is just northeast of Detroit and some 90 miles east of Lansing, body-worn camera footage obtained by Detroit-based NBC affiliate WDIV shows.
According to state and federal authorities, Trice kidnapped 2-year-old Wynter Cole-Smith after stabbing and sexually assaulting the girl’s mother — his ex-girlfriend — in Lansing on the night of July 2. Sometime after that, law enforcement alleges, the defendant murdered the toddler and dumped her tiny body in an alleyway near the Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit.
In the footage, white smoke can be seen billowing out of the white Chevrolet Impala the defendant had allegedly stolen the day before. As officers hectically swarm the crunched vehicle – guns drawn and shouting; most of their combined cruisers’ sirens still blaring – Trice shouts something before being dragged out and pushed to ground.
For a few moments, he appears to lay prone, his arms tucked underneath his chest or midsection as police try to jostle him and grab his hands so they can put on handcuffs. Tasers are drawn and pressed to his skin, the footage shows, and apparently used several times.
“Hands out!” one officer shouts.
“Grab his hands,” another officer advises.
“He’s got something in his hands!” another officer claims – prompting Trice to throw out his left hand and cry out: “No, I don’t!”
The defendant is eventually restrained and brought upright, the footage shows. He complains of injuries sustained in the crash and ensuing scuffle. An officer acknowledges the “lacerations” and that Trice is “bleeding” and calls for EMS to “check this suspect out.”
“Y’all just tased me about five times,” the defendant says.
“Yeah, well, you were fighting,” the officer wearing the body camera says as he and another officer try to walk the defendant, at this point effectively nude because his pants fell at some point, over to a curb.
After a while, Trice is taken to the curb, has his pants pulled up by the same officer who has been speaking with him, and is forced to sit.
For several minutes in the video, the officer and others survey the still-chaotic scene with the two damaged vehicles, assess another officer’s own potential injuries, and consult with dispatch about how Trice is the man wanted by police in Lansing for the abduction of Cole-Smith.
“Let them know we have the vehicle, we have the suspect in custody, no child,” the officer wearing the camera says.
As Trice comes back into view, an officer accuses him of swerving at another officer and trying to hit him with the Impala allegedly stolen from the deceased girl’s grandmother the night before.
“You were gonna kill me anyway,” the defendant says.
“Whatever,” an officer replies.
The girl’s body was found on July 5. Law enforcement says they used Trice’s cellular phone data to track his route and ultimately made the sad find just before 7:00 p.m. last Wednesday.
“[Wynter’s] cause of death appeared to be strangulation with a pink cell phone charging cord, that was recovered with the body,” police wrote. “The pink cell phone charging cord was consistent with the pink cord parts recovered from the Chevrolet Impala.”
Late last week, Trice was charged by a complaint in federal court on one count each of kidnapping a minor and kidnapping resulting in death. If convicted of the latter charge, he could be sentenced to the federal death penalty. And, in that case, he would be the first Michigan prisoner executed since 1938, according to Detroit-based ABC affiliate WXYZ.
Earlier last week, Trice was arraigned in Ingham County on state charges of assault with intent to murder, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, home invasion, unlawful imprisonment, aggravated domestic violence second offense, unlawful driving away of an automobile, and felonious assault.
On Tuesday morning, federal Magistrate Judge Ray Kent agreed to impanel a grand jury on Trice’s federal charges, according to The Detroit News. Court records show he is being detained pending that decision.
In the hospital, police allege, Trice admitted to bits and pieces of the crimes he is accused of committing – but stopped just short of a confession regarding the death of the young girl.
“Trice also admitted that he was aware of the Amber Alert,” they wrote. “Trice stated words to the effect of, ‘I am already a monster.’ Trice also stated that he wanted to kill himself. As part of a ruse during the interview, the FBI Agent informed Trice that video surveillance showed Trice and [Wynter] in the vehicle together. Trice stated that if law enforcement showed him the video surveillance footage, then Trice would be forced to admit his involvement.”
In the body camera footage, the defendant vacillates between another almost-acknowledgment and some hope for what lies in store.
“Do you think I’ll be okay?” he asks.
“I think you will be,” the officer replies. “You got a long road ahead of you.”
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
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Rashad Trice talks to police during arrest
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