NYS trooper indicted on murder charge after fatal Thruway crash

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New York State Police patrol car

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the indictment of Christopher Baldner, a member of the New York State Police, on murder charges. The indictment alleges that Baldner, while on patrol on the New York State Thruway, used his police vehicle to ram a car, resulting in the death of an 11-year-old.

On December 22, 2020, around midnight, Tristan Goods was driving in the northbound lane of the Thruway with his wife and two daughters, aged 11 and 12. Trooper Baldner was on patrol and stopped the Goods family car for speeding in Ulster County. During the stop, Baldner allegedly deployed pepper spray into the car 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. The AG said the impact ejected Monica Goods from the car and she died. 

Monica Goods, the 11-year-ols who was killed in Thruway crash (credit: the Goods family)
Monica Goods, the 11-year-old who was killed in the Thruway crash (credit: the Goods family)

“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, in a separate incident, that Baldner endangered the lives of three passengers by also using his police vehicle to ram their car. This incident was in September 2019.

Charges:

  • Murder in the Second Degree (felony)
  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree (felony)
  • Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree

Read the full indictment below.

The New York State Police said Baldner surrendered this morning and was suspended without pay. They said they investigated the matter and cooperated with the AG’s office.

“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,” said the New York State Police. “Accountability is critically important to our agency.”

Baldner was arraigned on October 27 in Ulster County Court and was remanded. James said Baldner will make a bail application and the hearing is set for November 4. Murder in the second degree carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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