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New York State soldier charged with murder after crashing into family car, killing 11-year-old girl

A New York State soldier has been charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of 11-year-old Monica Goods, Attorney General Letitia James said on Wednesday. Christopher Baldner is accused of crashing into a car with four members of the Goods family inside, overturning the car and killing Monica while on duty in December 2020.

The attorney general’s office said Baldner was in his police car when he arrested Tristan Goods for speeding in Ulster County just before midnight on December 22. He was going to visit his family for Christmas and had his wife and two daughters, who are 11 and 12 years old. old man, in the car with him. During the stop, Baldner administered pepper spray into Goods’ car and Tristan Goods drove off, according to the indictment.

The soldier followed the family car, slamming into the back of their car twice before Goods’ vehicle rolled over several times. Monica Goods was thrown from the car and died, the attorney general said.

It is not clear whether the other members of the Goods family were injured in the incident.

The attorney general charged Baldner with second degree murder – punishable by up to 25 years in life imprisonment – second degree manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

“The police are charged with protecting and serving, but Private Baldner allegedly violated that trust when he used his car as a deadly weapon and killed a young girl,” James said. “While nothing will bring Monica back, we need to keep law enforcement to the highest standards, which is why my office is committed to seeking justice in this matter.”

Baldner was arraigned in Ulster County Court Wednesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 4, according to the attorney general.

The indictment also alleged that Baldner used his police car to crash into a car containing three people in September 2019, also putting their lives at risk.


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