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maddox lawrence ryan lawrenceThe man from Syracuse, New York, who is accused of killing 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence in February pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Thursday, September 15th.

Ryan Lawrence’s guilty plea was the result of a plea deal reached with prosecutors in Onondaga County, NY.  According to Jeremy Cali, who is a prosecutor in Onondaga County, Maddox’s family was in agreement with the plea deal. Lawrence faces a prison sentence of 25 years to life, and his sentencing is scheduled for October 7th. He may not appeal, and he will not be eligible for parole until at least 25 years.

Lawrence admitted to killing Maddox outside of Syracuse on February 20th of this year after he took her from the family’s home. According to authorities, he beat Maddox’s body with a baseball bat. Then, he burned the body and the baseball bat in a fire pit. Lawrence tied the remains to a cinder block and put them in Onondaga Creek. Authorities issued an Amber Alert when Maddox’s mother, Morgan Lawrence, discovered a note written by Ryan Lawrence when she got home from work. Lawrence confessed to the murder on February 23rd, and he told police where the body was located.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick wanted Lawrence to be indicted on a first-degree murder charge. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. A first-degree murder charge is given to someone who kills a person while also committing serious felonies, like kidnapping. Lawrence’s trial would have been on October 31st if he had not taken the plea deal.

According to Bill Fitzpatrick in a February interview on CBS5, Maddox had conquered cancer. Fitzpatrick told interviewer Michael Benny that Ryan Lawrence might have been jealous due to the attention Maddox received while she was fighting cancer, according to statements Ryan Lawrence had made.

Senator John DeFrancisco (R) created a bill known as “Maddox’s Law”, which passed in the New York Senate, in response to the tragic murder of Maddox. If the bill becomes a law, people who are accused of murdering a child 12 years of age or younger will face a first-degree murder charge.

Maddox’s family and the community have set up a memorial, as well as a Memorial Facebook page, in memory of Baby Maddox. The memorial is close to where Maddox’s body was discovered. According to the memorial Facebook page, Maddox’s family would like to see a bench with a plaque and a sign placed in the area in memory of Maddox.