Man charged with murder in death of toddler

Grand Rapids
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been charged with murder after allegedly beating and killing a toddler at a metro Grand Rapids motel.

Rickey Whiteside, 29, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on a charge of felony murder. He already faced a charge of first-degree child abuse in the case.

He was arrested after deputies found his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter unresponsive on the night of April 29 at the Lazy T Motel on Plainfield Avenue NE north of Grand Rapids. Authorities were called to the motel after dispatchers received a call from a woman trying to check the toddler’s breathing.

Court documents identified the child as Londyn Florine Marie Amir. According to the probable cause documents, authorities said Whiteside confessed to “losing it,” punching the child in the face and knocking her to the ground when he was alone with her. The child’s mother was at the store at the time of the alleged incident.

Responding deputies attempted to revive the child until additional medical support arrived and took over. Londyn was in critical condition when she was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where she died days later.

Authorities have said the toddler’s injuries are consistent with an assault, and a doctor confirmed she had “traumatic injuries consistent with abuse for an undetermined amount of time.”

Whiteside’s bond is set for $1 million because of prior convictions for domestic abuse, drug use and trespassing.

He’s expected back in court May 23 for a probable cause hearing.

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