Not lengthy earlier than midnight on Dec. 22, a New York state trooper stopped a automobile for dashing close to Kingston, about an hour and a half north of Manhattan. Inside have been Tristin Goods, his spouse, April, and his daughters, Monica, 11, and Tristina, 12. They have been heading north on the New York State Thruway, on their approach to go to household for Christmas.
In the trade that adopted, Mr. Goods and the trooper, Christopher Baldner, started to argue, and Mr. Goods, his lawyer stated, requested to talk to a supervisor. Trooper Baldner responded by capturing pepper spray into the automobile, officers stated.
Fearing for his security, his lawyer stated, Mr. Goods drove off. Trooper Baldner chased him at a excessive velocity. When he caught as much as Mr. Goods, he rammed his automobile as soon as after which, seconds later, rammed it once more.
The affect knocked Mr. Goods’s automobile over a guardrail into the freeway’s southbound lanes, his lawyer stated. The automobile flipped over a number of occasions earlier than touchdown on its roof. Tossed from the automobile because it tumbled, Monica Goods died.
On Wednesday, Trooper Balder, 43, was charged with homicide, manslaughter and reckless endangerment in an indictment introduced by Letitia James, New York’s lawyer normal.
“Police officers are entrusted to protect and serve,” Ms. James stated in a assertion. “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 on Wednesday.
Trooper Baldner, a 19-year veteran of the State Police, turned himself in to the authorities early Wednesday. He was arraigned in Ulster County Court and ordered held in custody pending a bail listening to subsequent week. He was suspended with out pay upon surrendering, stated 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 stated, including that the State Police have been persevering with to work with Ms. James’s workplace in investigating the matter. “Accountability is critically important to our agency.”
The incident involving the Goodses was not the primary such confrontation for Trooper Baldner, officers stated. The indictment additionally costs him with endangering the lives of three folks by ramming his automobile into their automobile in a separate incident in the Kingston space in September 2019.
In one more episode, which Gov. Kathy Hochul cited when she named Ms. James a particular prosecutor in the case final week, Trooper Baldner struck a automobile in the identical space in January 2017. The indictment didn’t embody any costs associated to that episode.
Trooper Baldner’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. He faces as much as 25 years to life in jail if convicted on the homicide depend.
Thomas H. Mungeer, the president of the union that represents New York troopers, stated in a assertion that “we look forward to a review and public release of the facts, including the motorist’s reckless actions that started this chain of events.”
Reached by cellphone on Wednesday, Mr. Goods declined to touch upon the fees towards Trooper Baldner and referred inquiries to his lawyer, Joseph O’Connor.
Mr. O’Connor stated that his consumer was “not celebrating today” however “was relieved” to be taught of the indictment. Mr. O’Connor additionally stated he anticipated knowledge recorded by computer systems in his consumer’s automobile and the trooper’s automobile to determine prominently in the prosecution.
Sanford Rubenstein, a lawyer for Monica Goods’s mom, Michelle Surrency, stated the fees have been “the first step in the fight for justice” in the case.
Susan C. Beachy contributed analysis.