New York Cop Charged With Murder of Child in Hudson Valley
A New York State trooper involved in a fatal crash on I-87 in the Hudson Valley has been charged with murder.
On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the indictment of Christopher Baldner, on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
The indictment alleges Baldner, a member of the New York State Police, while on patrol along the New York State Thruway used his police vehicle to ram a car occupied by four members of the Goods family which caused the car to flip over, resulting in the death of 11-year-old Monica Goods.
James stated the follow:
“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 Attorney General James. “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.”
The fatal encounter happened in the area of mile marker 93.6 in Ulster County on the New York State Thruway. Monica's father, Tristan Goods, claims Baldner yelled at him for speeding, cursed at his wife and accused the family of hiding drugs in their car.
Goods also said he kept his hands on the wheel at all times but when he asked to speak to a supervisor Baldner sprayed the car with pepper spray.
Monica Goods, of Brooklyn, was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered fatal injuries, police say. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The indictment alleges:
On December 22, 2020, at approximately 11:40 PM, Tristan Goods was driving in the northbound lane of the New York State Thruway with his wife and two daughters, aged 11 and 12, on the way to visit family for Christmas. Near mile marker 92, in Ulster County, Trooper Baldner was on patrol in his marked New York State Police vehicle and stopped the Goods family car for traveling at a high rate of speed. During the stop, Baldner deployed pepper spray into the interior of the car and Mr. Goods sped away. During the pursuit, Baldner twice rammed his police vehicle into the rear of the Goods car. Upon the second strike, the Goods car flipped over several times.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that, in September of 2019, Baldner similarly endangered the lives of three passengers by using his police vehicle to ram their car.
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