New York State Trooper Charged with Murder After Ramming a Vehicle with Patrol Car
A New York State Trooper is facing several charges related to an incident in which he allegedly rammed another vehicle with his patrol car, leading to the death of an 11-year-old girl.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday the indictment of Christopher Baldner on charges of Murder in the Second Degree, Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. The AG's office reports that Baldner was patrolling a portion of the New York State Thruway in Ulster County in December 2020.
Officials from the Attorney General's office say Baldner rammed a vehicle occupied by four members of the Goods family. Officials allege on December 22nd, 2020, just before midnight, Tristan Goods was driving northbound on the New York State Thruway with his wife and two daughters. The family was on their way to visit family for the holidays. The AG's office says Trooper Baldner stopped the Goods for allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed and at some point pepper spray was deployed by Trooper Baldner inside the vehicle. Officials say Mr. Good then sped off. During the subsequent pursuit of the Goods, officials with James' office say Baldner rammed the rear of the Goods vehicle twice. The ramming by the Trooper vehicle caused the Goods' vehicle to flip over several times resulting in the ejection of 11-year-old Monica Goods and she was killed as a result.
According to the AG's indictment, Baldner allegedly used a similar tactic on another vehicle in September of 2019. During that incident officials say Baldner endangered the lives of three passengers. Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday,
Police officers are entrusted to protect and serve, but Trooper Baldner allegedly violated that trust when he used his car as a deadly weapon and killed a young girl. While nothing will bring Monica back, we must hold law enforcement to the highest standards, which is why my office is committed to seeking justice in this case.
Baldner was arraigned Wednesday before Judge Bryan Rounds of Ulster County Court and was remanded. Officials say Baldner will make bail application on Thursday, November 4th, 2021. His charge of Murder in the Second Degree carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.