ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — A New York state trooper accused of using his police vehicle to ram a family’s car, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old girl, has been indicted on murder charges.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the indictment of Christopher Baldner on Wednesday.
On Dec. 22, 2020, around midnight, Baldner was on patrol when he stopped Tristan Goods and his family for speeding in Ulster County. Goods was with his wife and two daughters, aged 11 and 12.
Baldner is accused of deploying pepper spray into the car during the stop, and Goods sped away.
During the pursuit, Baldner reportedly rammed his police vehicle twice into the rear of Goods’ car. On the second strike, the car flipped over several times and landed upside down. James said the impact threw 11-year-old Monica Goods from the car, and she died.
“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,” said James.
The indictment also alleges that in a September 2019 incident, Baldner endangered the lives of three passengers by also using his police vehicle to ram their car.
Felony charges against Baldner include second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment.
Baldner was arraigned on Oct. 27 in Ulster County Court and was remanded. James said Baldner will make a bail application and a hearing is set for Nov. 4.
Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.