Fri, Mar 2 09:18 AM |OMG

Report: Mother Arrested For Negligent Homicide After A Speeding Off-Duty Cop Slams Into Her Car And Kills Her 1-Year-Old Baby

Uh, emotionally prepare to take in a tragic tale.

A Baton Rouge police officer was arrested on negligent homicide and accused of causing a crash that injured several people and killed a baby. 

The child’s mother was also arrested on the same charge because officers said she failed to properly secure the baby’s car seat.

The Advocate is reporting the crash occurred around 8 PM on October 12th, when a 28-year-old off-duty officer (who was driving his Corvette at 94 mph in a 50 mph zone) struck the Nissan carrying the four adults and four children.

Officer Christopher Manuel was driving north on Airline Highway and rammed into the passenger side of the Nissan, which was turning left onto Florline Boulevard at a green light.

One-year-old Seyaira Stephens was transported to the hospital from the scene of the accident and later died. So sad.

On Tuesday, 20-year-old Brittany Stephens, was arrested and charged with negligent homicide, although she was not the driver of the vehicle.

Police spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely stated that the woman was arrested because she “was the person responsible for the buckling of the car seat.”

Her daughter’s car seat was not secured and the straps were not adjusted correctly for the child’s height. Police officers insist that the car seat was also placed on the front center console, rather than being buckled in.

Police said the “lack of securing the seat to the vehicle and the loose straps are a contributing factor in the death” of the child and “show gross negligence” on the mother’s part. The child wasn’t buckled into a seatbelt because there were five seats and eight people in the vehicle.

On Wednesday, state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, and others, questioned why police arrested Stephens, saying it seemed like overreach, as she had lost her child and was not driving when the accident occurred.

LSU criminal law professor Ken Levy said under the law prosecutors would need to prove “gross negligence” on the mother’s part and show that the child died as a result of the car seat not being properly restrained.

“She’s been punished way more already than we can imagine,” Levy shared. “Her child is dead now.”

Manuel’s attorney, Ron Johnson, said on Thursday that he believes his client will be exonerated in court if his case gets that far.

Breea Gross was also cited for driving without a license, seat belt violation and three counts of child safety restraint violation.

40-year-old Janice Gross was cited for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive her vehicle and a seat belt violation and 23-year-old Seth Eames was also cited for a seat belt violation.

The cop remains on paid leave. 


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