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Ryan Lawrence pleads guilty to murder of daughter Maddox

21-month-old Maddox Lawrence, left, was taken by her father, Ryan Lawrence, right, in February.

Ryan Lawrence, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering his 21-month-old daughter, Maddox Lawrence, has pleaded guilty to first and second-degree murder in Onondaga County Court. As part of a plea deal, Lawrence will be sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Assistant District Attorney Jeremey Cali said Lawrence wanted all parties to agree on a sentence before he pleaded guilty. Cali said his office spoke at length with County Court Judge Anthony Aloi and the family of Maddox Lawrence.

"The family's wishes were that he stand up in court and admit it," Cali said. "I think there is something to that, someone standing up and saying they are guilty as opposed to a juror saying it. They articulated that they wanted to put it behind them. I think a week-long trial of laying all of this out would have been very difficult for them. This was what they wanted. We told the judge we would go along with it."

Ryan Lawrence also waived his right to an appeal. He will be sentenced on October 7.

The guilty plea comes after Maddox Lawrence went missing in Syracuse earlier this year and an Amber Alert was issued. The Amber Alert was canceled two days later after a 911 caller spotted Ryan Lawrence and he confessed to police to killing Maddox .

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.