A New York State Police trooper is facing a murder charge for killing an 11-year-old girl during a high-speed pursuit in the Hudson Valley, the state Attorney General announced.
Christopher Baldner has been indicted on charges that include murder for using his police vehicle to ram a car occupied by four members of a Brooklyn family in Ulster County, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old girl.
Specifically, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that Baldner was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and reckless endangerment.
The move comes after Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an executive order directing the AG to investigate the fatal incident.
It is alleged that at approximately 11:40 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2020, Tristan Goods was driving north on the New York State Thruway in Ulster County with his wife and two daughters to visit family for Christmas.
While on patrol, James said that it is alleged that Baldner stopped the Goods family for speeding, and during the stop, he deployed pepper spray inside the car, prompting Goods to speed away in fear.
According to the indictment, during the subsequent pursuit, Baldner twice rammed his vehicle into Goods' SUV, with the second causing it to turn over, flipping several times in the process, before coming to a rest on the roof of the car.
The impact ejected 11-year-old Monica Goods from the vehicle, and she died from injuries sustained in the crash.
The indictment further alleges that in September 2019, Baldner also endangered the lives of three passengers using his New York State Police cruiser to ram their car in a similar fashion.
Baldner was arraigned in Ulster County Court on Wednesday, Oct. 27, and remanded. He is scheduled to make a bail application, with his next court appearance scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 4.
If convicted of second-degree murder, Baldner will face a sentence of between 25 years to life in prison.
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