ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A trooper with New York State Police was indicted on a murder charge after prosecutors say he used his police vehicle to ram a car, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old girl.
The indictment alleges Christopher Baldner was on the New York State Thruway on Dec. 22, 2020, when he stopped a car driven by Tristan Goods for speeding. During the stop, Baldner allegedly deployed pepper spray into the car and Goods, who was traveling with his wife and two daughters, sped away.
During the pursuit, Baldner reportedly rammed his police vehicle twice into the rear of Goods’ car, causing the vehicle to flip over several times and land upside down. The indictment says the impact ejected 11-year-old Monica Goods from the car, killing her.
“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 Letitia 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.
Baldner was arraigned on October 27 in Ulster County Court on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and reckless endagerment. A bail hearing is set for November 4.
If convicted of the murder charge, Baldner could face up to 25 years to life in prison.