Mother, Off-Duty Officer Face Negligent Homicide Charges in Connection to Deadly Crash

March 6, 2018 Updated: March 6, 2018

A mother and a police officer are facing negligent homicide charges in connection with a deadly crash in Baton Rouge in October, according to reports.

The crash left a 1-year-old girl dead and eight others injured. The off-duty officer, Christopher Manuel, 28, was reportedly driving 94 miles per hour on Oct. 12, 2017, when he hit a Nissan, according to The Advocate.

None of the eight people inside the five-seat Nissan car were wearing seatbelts, Baton Rouge Police said. One-year-old Seyaira Stephens later died.

The baby’s mother, 20-year-old Brittany Stephens, was booked on one count of negligent homicide because investigators said she didn’t properly secure the 1-year-old’s car seat, it was reported. Stephens wasn’t driving the Nissan, but police said she was responsible for making sure the child was secured properly.

The car seat, The Advocate reported, was placed in the Nissan’s center console and was “wedged” between the two front seats. The straps weren’t put in place properly.

“Ms. [Stephens] had told investigators that the car seat was placed on the console, wedged in between the two front seats of the vehicle,” Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. told ABC News. “The car seat was wedged in between the two front seats.”

“During the investigation of the case, investigators charged the appropriate parties who contributed to the death of the child,” Coppola said.

Manuel and Stephens haven’t been formally charged by the East Baton Rouge District Attorney, the paper reported.

Seyaira was taken to the hospital immediately after the crash, but was pronounced dead, People magazine reported.

Manuel is on paid leave as he awaits a hearing on whether he should be fired or not, the magazine reported.


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