Amari Nicholson

Amari Nicholson: Man charged in toddler’s death now faces attempted murder of police officers

A Nevada man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son has now been charged with two counts of trying to kill police officers after he took an officer’s weapon from her holster in an interview room.

Terrell Rhodes, 27, was arrested and charged with killing Amari Nicholson on May 11, nearly a week after the boy was reported missing while staying in his care, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

Police found the boy’s body a day later, reportedly after Rhodes told them where to look.

According to the arrest affidavit, Rhodes first said the boy was taken by his girlfriend’s aunt, but later confessed that he became angry when Amari urinated on himself and “struck Amari approximately three to four times in the body with a closed fist. At some point, Amari turned blue and purple in the face and stopped breathing.”

Police said at the time said they expected additional charges related to an incident in the interview room after his alleged confession, 8 News Now reported. While he was alone in the room, police said, Rhodes became upset and began repeatedly saying, “Let me out of here” and “I can’t go back.” When two detectives entered the room, Rhodes lunged at Detective Opal Deeds and pulled the gun from her holster.

Deeds, Detective Tate Sanborn, and Rhodes struggled over the gun, with Rhodes shouting, “I’m gonna kill a [expletive].” Two other officers came into the room, and Rhodes was disarmed. After he was disarmed, Rhodes repeatedly said, “I wanna die” and “Kill me,” according to the police report.

The indictment filed Friday charges Rhodes with two counts of attempted murder, four counts of assault on an officer with a deadly weapon, and four counts of resisting an officer using a firearm.  Officers Robert Ochsenhirt and Jason McCarthy were named as targets of assault.

Tayler Nicholson, Amari’s mother, left the boy with Rhodes while she travelled to Colorado to tend to her mother, who had undergone surgery. Rhodes and Nicholson reportedly fought frequently during the trip, and Nicholson broke up with Rhodes by text on May 3.

On May 5, Rhodes called Nicholson to say an aunt had taken the boy that morning, and she called police to report Amari had been kidnapped. According to the arrest affidavit, police first thought the case was “a civil matter over a possible child custody dispute.”

After a frantic search, police confronted Rhodes with a bag of soiled boy’s clothing and blood on the walls of his apartment, prompting his confession.

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[Featured image: Amari Nicholson/Family Handout]