Man convicted of murder, abuse in toddler’s motel death

Kent County
rickey whiteside arraignment 050218

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who beat his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter to death at a Grand Rapids area motel is heading to prison.

A jury Thursday convicted Rickey Whiteside of felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the April 2018 death of Londyn Amir.

Londyn’s mother, Shaniqua Strickland, previously testified she and the toddler were living with Whiteside at the Lazy T motel along Plainfield Avenue in Plainfield Township. She said she left Londyn with Whiteside to go to the store, in part to get marijuana papers for Whiteside.

Less than 20 minutes later, Strickland said, she returned to the motel to find Londyn limp and unconscious in Whiteside’s arms, foaming at the mouth.

Londyn was rushed to the hospital where she died a few days later.

Authorities say Whiteside admitted to punching Londyn in the face, knocking her to the ground and causing her to lose consciousness. Strickland said Whiteside told her “he just snapped.”

Whiteside is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison when he’s sentenced.

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