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Ryan Lawrence found guilty of Maddox Lawrence murder, sentenced to 25-years.

Updated on May 31, 2017

Ryan Lawrence pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of his daughter Maddox.

Ryan Lawrence who originally plead not-guilty to charges of killing his own daughter, changed his tune by pleading guilty. The guilty plea came with a deal according to prosecutors, at part of Lawrence's plea deal he would be given a 25-years to life prison sentence. The maximum penalty he could have faced under State law would have been life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, due to the violent nature of the felony, Lawrence will have to remain behind bars for that entire 25-years before he can begin to think of parole.

It's shocking that a man could be capable of killing his own child, but it is complete and utter crap that a man capable and guilty of killing his own daughter is handed down such a light sentence. He should be rotting away in a prison cell somewhere for the rest of his miserable life.

24-year-old Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence, the father of 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence, stands accused of her murder.
Ryan Lawrence, the father of 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence, stands accused of her murder. | Source

Ryan Lawrence indicted on first-degree murder relating to the death of 21-month-old Maddox.

In March of 2016, Lawrence was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping (including the death of Maddox), tampering with physical evidence which includes burning the Maddox’s remains, and disposing of her remains, all felonies within the State of New York. If Lawrence is convicted of first-degree murder he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, as the death penalty will not be on the table for New York does not have the death penalty.

What led to Ryan Lawrence being behind bars charged in the death of his own daughter?

Ryan Lawrence stands accused of kidnapping his daughter, Maddox on February 20, 2016, driving with her to Labrador Hollow, the spot he allegedly took little Maddox’s life. Court records allege that Lawrence then put his daughter back in the car and drove her back to Syracuse, New York and disposed of her body in Onondaga Creek, located near Destiny. Lawrence then abandoned the family car in the parking lot of a mall (the work place of Maddox’s mother, Lawrence’s wife, Morgan) and then took off. Authorities would locate Lawrence three days later inside of a thrift store in Baldwinsville, he was said to be wearing a disguise.

Why Did Ryan Lawrence Murder Maddox Lawrence

Why did Ryan Lawrence murder Maddox Lawrence?

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How did it all go down, and what was 21-year-old Ryan Lawrence’s motive?

In a televised interview, Onondaga County District Attorney, Bill Fitzpatrick spoke about a possible motive, and touched on accusations that Morgan Lawrence, Maddox’s mother was involved in her daughter’s murder. Fitzpatrick told Michael Benny from CBS5 that Lawrence was simply jealous over the amount of attention little Maddox was getting as a result of cancer. Fitzpatrick then said that Morgan Lawrence held zero knowledge of little Maddox’s murder, saying that if he believed Morgan had any knowledge of her daughter’s death that he would have already advised her to obtain an attorney.

Fitzpatrick went on to say that he believed Ryan Lawrence killed Maddox in Courtland County, at Labrador Hollow, the search location, however, it is a mystery why Lawrence decided to bring Maddox back to the Inner Harbor in Syracuse. Police Chief Fowler said “It’s a special situation when talking about children. You’re supposed to protect children”, in this case obviously that did not happen, making it hard on law enforcement and members of the community.

Little Maddox Lawrence was a fighter that’s for sure. It is said that the little girl had survived cancer before Ryan Lawrence took her life from her, in what I believe involved jealously over the amount of attention little Maddox’s cancer treatments had gotten her. Regardless of the amount of attention the little girl was receiving or not receiving, she beat cancer and that alone should be celebrated, not punished.

21-Month-Old Maddox Lawrence

21-month-old Maddox Lawrence
21-month-old Maddox Lawrence | Source
Maddox Lawrence
Maddox Lawrence | Source
Maddox Lawrence smiling
Maddox Lawrence smiling | Source
Maddox Lawrence looking beautiful
Maddox Lawrence looking beautiful | Source

Memorials have been created as community members mourn the death of little Maddox Lawrence

When a young child dies, it not only affects those that are close to the child, but it affects members of the community as well. In this case, the community has been showing their grief by placing flowers, stuffed animals, and even candles along the creek walk as a form of memorial for the 21-month-old. These keepsakes have been left by community members that were watching the search for the toddler, hoping that she would be found alive and well. It is said that members of the community left the keepsakes below the crime tape, sprawled out for the purpose of separating the walkway from the crime scene. The scene that revealed what happened to 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence, as authorities pulled her little body out of the water.

It is said that community members have also started a memorial in front of the little girl’s home, located in the 1000 block of Valley Drive in Syracuse, New York. A once happy, loving, and vibrant neighborhood is now full of mourning and sadness, as the news continued to spread. One community member left a drawing baring the words “Rest Peacefully Baby Maddox”. Many community members left balloons and candles; others expressed their sincere devastation when they heard the news.

One neighbor, Rick Henderson said “It’s very surprising. However, you can never judge or walk a mile in a man’s shoes. So I don’t know what he was going through at the time. It’s surprising and it’s sad”.

Police find the body of 21-month-old Maddox Lawrence

For 60 Hours Authorities searched the Inner Harbor, Labrador Hollow, Baldwinsville, and even dumpsters for baby Maddox Lawrence

Although authorities are not stating at this time why they decided to search the Inner Harbor, and Labrador Hollow, but reports said that it was “ground zero”, in search terms. Foot cops searched the ground around the harbor, while teams of divers searched for Maddox in the water, using a raft, and even a helicopter overhead. Frustration was coming over the teams as they continued to search and came up empty handed. Police began searching the Baldwinsville area for the missing 21-month-old through-out the night. Their search was renewed after police focused their efforts on the Village of Baldwinsville and the outer areas, after ending up empty handed the night before.

Authorities then focused their search in a dumpster located behind a Subway restaurant, and Colonial Laundromat located on East Genesee Street in Baldwinsville, following a tip they received a tip from a search group of independent searchers, claiming they may have seen socks and a blanket belonging to a child, possibly relating to the Maddox case stuffed in the dumpster. However, authorities did not find anything in the dumpster relating to the Maddox case, or anything out of the ordinary period.

Where was Maddox’s father? And why did he disappear?

Authorities then focused on trying to find Maddox’s father, 24-year-old Ryan Lawrence, the last person to see his daughter alive on the day in question. Baldwinsville Police, along with Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies had responded to a call into 911 from The Thrifty Shopper located on Downer Street. The person who placed the 911 call was said to be a former-worker of the store and said that she had seen the suspect listed in Maddox’s Amber Alert. The former employee of The Thrifty Shopper indicated to operators that “she knew him, that she had known him in the past, she seemed to indicate she knew who he was” According to Gene Conway from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department.

A worker said that a man was inside of the store for the purpose of buying a comforter. A few former employees told authorities that Lawrence was in the store wearing a black wig, a hat, sunglasses, and a bandana over his mouth. At first it was thought that he was homeless as he smelt of firewood, but later it would be revealed that a few workers recognized the man through his disguise, saying it was his eyes.

Morgan Lawrence, and the Community are left to mourn, wondering what is going to happen to Ryan Lawrence next

As of the date of this writing, Maddox Lawrence’s father, Ryan Lawrence remains in custody. A recent court hearing revealed that Ryan Lawrence may have had a history of mental illness, leaving a judge to order a mental health evaluation, following a not-guilty plea. As I drop a face full of tears writing this, I am left to question how such a loving father, who spent a better portion of his young daughter’s life trying to save her from the cancer that was trying to kill her, could then turn around after she defeated cancer and take her life himself? Was Ryan fearful that the cancer was going to return? Was he stressed out by fear, money, and his marriage? Or was Ryan Lawrence truly jealous of the amount of attention his 21-month-old daughter was receiving due to her health problems, and recovery? I believe it was all of it, mostly jealously, but all of it likely triggered something in him.

No matter the case, a young father is in jail, a young mother is completely devastated and will likely never be alright, a family is destroyed and torn apart, a community is in awe, and a little girl who beat the odds is lying in a coffin for no rhyme nor reason. Stay tuned as this case continues.

© 2016 Amanda Seaton

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