Las Vegas police have arrested a man for allegedly beating to death his girlfriend’s two-year-old son, who has been missing for nearly a week.
27-year-old Terrell Rhodes was taken into custody and placed in county jail on Tuesday on the basis of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Amari Nicholson.
Rhodes will face additional charges for allegedly seizing an officer’s service weapon during his arrest, before the confrontation apparently ended with no shots fired.
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Terrell Rhodes, 27 (left), has been charged with first degree murder for the murder of his girlfriend’s son, Amari Nicholson, 2 (right)
During the first court session on Wednesday, a prosecutor said there was evidence that the man had hit the toddler multiple times. Police found blood on a wall and Amari’s dirty clothes.
In a Facebook messaging with a friend, a screengrab of which was circulating on social media, a woman who was reportedly Amari’s mother, Tayler Nicholson, wrote: ‘my boyfriend [sic] beat my baby to death for peeing his pants. ‘
A judge ordered Rhodes to be held without bail. He is due to appear in court on May 17.
During the first court session on Wednesday (pictured), prosecutors said the man had hit Amari several times and found blood on a wall and the boy’s dirty clothes.
Prior to this arrest, Rhodes, standing next to Amari’s mother, Tayler Nicholson above, claimed that the boy’s relative had picked him up on May 5.
Amari was in the care of Rhodes while his mother, Nicholson, was in Colorado. It is unclear whether the police recovered the boy’s body
It remains unknown whether the police recovered Amari’s body, but no announcements have been made as of Wednesday.
On May 5, police received a report that Amari had disappeared from the Emerald Suites hotel in the 3600 block of Paradise Road, where the toddler had been in Rhodes’ care. The child’s mother, Taylor Nicholson, was in Colorado at the time.
Rhodes told police that a woman who claimed to be a sister of Amari’s biological father was at the door and said she was coming to pick him up.
He repeated the same story during an interview with Fox 5 Las Vegas, standing next to his girlfriend, Amari’s mother.
In a Facebook Messenger exchange with a friend, a screenshot of which was left, a woman who reportedly was Nicholson wrote: ‘my boyfriend [sic] beat my baby to death for peeing his pants. ‘
After Rhodes’ arrest, Nicholson posted this message to Facebook, denying any knowledge of her son’s murder
Amari’s paternal relatives vehemently denied having the boy, and police soon turned to Rhodes as the prime suspect in his disappearance.
Rhodes quelled the suggestion that he had anything to do with Amari’s missing 8NewsNow: “What’s really sick is that people make assumptions, think I have something to do with it … We never do anything like that to him.”
His girlfriend had a similar tone when she spoke to Fox 5.
‘All this hateful energy, pointing fingers at me and [Rhodes] could be used to find our baby and bring him home, ”she said. ‘We are in enough pain. We are all desperate about this. ‘
Rhodes was arrested on Tuesday after police identified him as the prime suspect
But on Tuesday, she told the station that her boyfriend “just confessed” to killing her son.
Before deleting her Facebook, Nicholson posted a status update that read, ‘My baby is gone and never coming home. I never knew him [sic] he pretended never to tell me about his involvement. I trusted him and he betrayed me. He took my whole world from me … my son came for everyone !! I never knew anything. ‘
Judicial records indicate that Rhodes has a previous criminal history, including convictions for felony burglary, felony robbery, and battery to commit theft.