Attorney General James Announces Indictment of New York State Trooper on Murder Charge
Trooper Christopher Baldner Allegedly Used State Police Vehicle to
Ram Car Occupied by Family, Causing Death of Monica Goods
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the indictment of Christopher Baldner, on charges of Murder in the Second Degree, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. The indictment alleges Baldner — a member of the New York State Police — while on patrol along the New York State Thruway in the County of Ulster, in December 2020, used his police vehicle to ram a car occupied by four members of the Goods family — causing the family car to flip over, resulting in the death of 11-year-old Monica Goods.
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.
Baldner was arraigned today before Judge Bryan Rounds of Ulster County Court and was remanded. Baldner will make a bail application, the hearing on which is set for Thursday, November 4, 2021. Murder in the Second Degree carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
“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.”
It is alleged that 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 and came to rest upside down. The impact ejected Monica Goods from the car, and she died.
The Attorney General is the prosecutor in this matter pursuant to New York Executive Order 147 and Executive Order 7, both of which were signed by the governor.
Criminal charges are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty at trial or by plea.