RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California woman has been charged with murder for not putting her daughter in a car seat before a fatal car crash on a winding mountain road a year ago.
Kristen Lauer, 23, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., left the baby unrestrained in a two-seater sports car, prosecutors allege in Riverside County court documents.
“Lauer willfully placed Armani Green in a place of danger when she made the decision to ride in a two-seat Porsche on SR-74 without taking any precautions for the safety of the 5-month old,” court documents state.
Murder charges were filed Thursday against Lauer. A county judge has issued a warrant for her arrest.
She does not appear to be in custody as of Friday afternoon, according to jail and court records.
The crash occurred May 1, 2016, on California 74 south of Palm Desert. Lauer and her baby were riding in a Porsche that the baby's father was driving.
The car plowed through a barrier and careened 200 feet down a cliff. The infant was flung from the vehicle and killed.
The father, Marcus Green, 52, was arrested and charged with murder within a week of the crash. He has remained in jail in Indio, Calif., since then and is scheduled for another court appearance May 26.
Lauer, who was more seriously injured, was airlifted to a hospital. Until this week, it had been unclear if authorities planned to prosecute her at all.
Lauer has also been charged with a lesser felony of willful child cruelty.
Before the crash, Lauer was most widely known as a star volleyball player at Desert Christian Academy in Bermuda Dunes, Calif., She later coached at the school and played for College of the Desert in Palm Desert.
Follow Brett Kelman on Twitter: @TDSbrettkelman