Trooper Charged With Murder in Death of Girl, 11, in a High-Speed Chase
A New York state trooper was charged with murder on Wednesday in the death of an 11-year-old Brooklyn girl who was killed during a high-speed …
A New York state trooper was charged with murder on Wednesday in the death of an 11-year-old Brooklyn girl who was killed during a high-speed chase that occurred while she, her sister and her father traveled to visit relatives for Christmas last year.
The girl, Monica Goods, died after the trooper, Christopher Baldner, rammed her family’s car twice following a traffic stop during which he fired pepper spray into the vehicle, prompting her father to drive off, according to a news release issued by Letitia James, New York’s attorney general.
The second strike on the car sent it tumbling over several times, with Monica tossed out in the process, said Ms. James, who was named a special prosecutor in the case last week by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“Police officers are entrusted to protect and serve,” Ms. James said in a statement. “But Trooper Baldner allegedly violated that trust when he used his car as a deadly weapon and killed a young girl.”
The Daily News reported the indictment earlier Wednesday.
Trooper Baldner turned himself in to the authorities early Wednesday and was immediately suspended without pay, said William Duffy, a State Police spokesman.
“As with every state police investigation, our mission is to determine facts and ensure that justice is served, even when it involves one of our own members,” Mr. Duffy said, adding that the State Police was continuing to work with Ms. James’s office in investigating the matter. “Accountability is critically important to our agency.”
Trooper Baldner was arraigned in Ulster County Court and ordered held pending a bail hearing scheduled for next week. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trooper Baldner, who was also charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment, faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the murder count.