Ryan Lawrence indicted for first degree murder and kidnapping

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) —  Ryan Lawrence, the Syracuse man accused of killing his baby daughter, Maddox, has completed a mental health evaluation and will stand trial.

An Amber Alert was issued for baby Maddox. Authorities said she was missing along with her father. Maddox’ body was found just days later in the city’s inner harbor.

Now that Lawrence is cleared to stand trial, his lawyer and the District Attorney said his sanity could become a concern as the case moves forward. Lawrence’s attorney could still use mental health as a defense.

Lawrence was originally charged with second degree murder of his 22-month-old baby girl, Maddox. He is now facing an enhanced murder charge and a newly added kidnapping charge. Lawrence pleaded not guilty to both Wednesday.

The first-degree murder charge can only be used in cases dealing with a police officer, firefighter, doctor, judge or if the murder was committed in the course of another crime, such as kidnapping. Lawrence’s attorney says he’s looking to see if the case qualifies for a first degree murder charge.

“We’re going to challenge each and every element of that murder one charge in our motions and I’d like to with hold our information in respect to that until then. He seems to be doing fairly well under the circumstances, obviously there’s a lot going on,” said Michael Vavonese, Defense Attorney.

The indictment said Lawrence intentionally struck baby Maddox in the head with a wooden baseball bat. He’s accused of then burning her body and eventually disposing of her remains in a creek.

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