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Cop: Man Prayed Before Killing Toddler Daughter (Video)

Ryan Lawrence pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of his 22-month-old daughter, Maddox, on Sept. 15 in a courtroom in Onondaga County, New York (video below).

Prosecutors said Ryan beat the tiny cancer survivor to death with a baseball bat in February, People reports. Ryan reportedly told the court he burned his daughter's remains, and tossed what was left into Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

According to court papers, Ryan tied a cement block to Maddox's remains to keep the toddler weighted down, but her body was discovered by search divers 36 hours after she was reported missing.

Maddox's mother, Morgan, approved the plea deal, which included Ryan's public confession.

Syracuse Police Detective Mark Rusin told the court that Ryan told him he prayed: "God, if I am not meant to kill her, make her stumble," CNYCentral reported in July.

Rusin also testified that Ryan told police Maddox was with a couple named Chris and Taylor, whom he had previously called Chris and Tyler; Ryan eventually admitted the couple did not exist.

Rusin quoted Ryan as saying, "You won't understand when I tell you what I did with Maddox."

Ryan is due to be sentenced on Oct. 7 to 25 years to life in prison. As part of his plea deal, he has waived his right to file an appeal.

In February, an Amber Alert was issued for Ryan and Maddox. After Maddox's body was recovered, Ryan was charged with second-degree murder. The charges were upgraded to first-degree murder and kidnapping on March 23.

The new charges were announced hours before Ryan's mental health exam was finished and he was to ruled to be competent to stand trial.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said Ryan had suggested that he was jealous over the attention his child got after her cancer diagnosis.

Sources: People, CNYCentral (2) / Photo credit:

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