Shaniqua Strickland’s boyfriend of six months fatally beat her 2-year-old daughter, Londyn Amir, inside of a motel room when he was left babysitting. Londyn’s mother had been at the Walgreens up the street when the incident occurred.
She told Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Denenfeld that her ex-boyfriend and his family had ruined her life.
Londyn Amir died on May 2, 2018, after she was punched on April 29, 2018 at the Lazy T motel on Plainfield Avenue NE in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Rickey Len Whiteside Jr. had confessed to being angry at the little girl when he landed fatal blows while he watched her that day.
Her mother struggled to make it through testimony as she recounted the last moments she saw her daughter alive during trial.
“My baby is limp in his arms, and he is trying to tell me my baby is OK,” Shaniqua said.
Rickey was left with Londyn at the Lazy T Motel in Grand Rapids. The three had been temporarily living there.
Rickey told police he “lost it” and punched Londyn in the face knocking her unconscious.
Shaniqua testified that she barely made it through the motel room door before seeing Rickey holding her limp child. She said she started screaming and called the police.
Shaniqua said that Rickey was left alone with Londyn nearly a dozen times before. She said he had never laid a hand on the girl.
Shaniqua said as far as she knew her daughter was asleep that night before she left for the store.
“I’m going to the store, goodnight mommy loves you”
“The last words I said to my baby were: ‘I’m going to the store, goodnight mommy loves you,’ and she said ‘love you too, mommy’ and closed her eyes,” Strickland testified.
Less than an hour later police found Londyn unresponsive and took her to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital where she died several days later. Rickey charged with murder and child abuse.
Kent County Assistant Prosecutor, Travis Early, said Londyn was “beaten to death inside a small hotel room … because she wanted her mom. He just couldn’t handle it. He was angry and … Rickey was mad. He used the word himself. He was mad.”
Rickey and Londyn’s mother argued on the phone while she was at work. She left for Walgreens after she got back to the hotel with her daughter. When she got back from the store, her daughter was limp in his arms, prosecutors said.
“The child is bruised from her head to toes,” Early said during his closing argument.
A jury deliberated about three hours on June 6, 2019 before returning a verdict against Rickey.
On July 18, 2019, Rickey Whiteside Jr. received a mandatory life sentence without parole for felony murder in the death of Londyn Amir. Rickey also received 20 to 30 years in prison for first-degree child abuse.