BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A police officer has been charged over his role in the death of two teenagers during the high-speed pursuit of a home-invasion suspect in Louisiana.
Officer David Cauthron, who works for police in the community of Addis, was arrested Sunday evening, WBRZ-TV reported. He is charged with two counts of negligent homicide and one count of negligent injuring, District Attorney Tony Clayton told the station.
It wasn’t clear Monday whether Cauthron had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
Maggie Dunn, 17, and Caroline Gill, 16, were killed when their car was struck by a police cruiser Saturday morning on a state highway. A third person in car was critically injured.
At the time, police were pursuing a 24-year-old suspect. The chase started in Baton Rouge when the suspect stole a car after breaking into a home and taking the keys, police said.
During the chase through multiple parishes, Louisiana’s version of counties, the 24-year-old ran red lights and reached speeds of 110 mph (177 kph), according to police documents.
As police chased the man through the town of Brusly, an Addis police vehicle crashed into another vehicle, killing the two teenage girls, who were not involved in the theft, The Advocate reported.
The man drove the stolen car back across the Mississippi River and was apprehended when the vehicle stalled. He will be charged with two counts of manslaughter, as well as home invasion, theft of a vehicle and aggravated flight, police said.
On Sunday, Clayton questioned the decision of police to pursue the driver at high speeds and agreed with the decision to arrest the officer.