A Texas woman is accused of killing her 3-year-old son after running over him with an SUV during a game of “chicken.”
Lexus Stagg, 26, was seen in surveillance footage from her Harris County, Texas, apartment driving toward her three children as they ran toward the front of her 2006 Lincoln Navigator, according to a news release from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Warning: The following video may be disturbing to some readers
According to ABC13, Houston Police initially described the boy’s death as an “unfortunate accident.”
“The 3-year-old child ran behind her vehicle as she backed out of her parking spot,” HPD’s Lt. Thurston Roberson said after the June 11 incident.
MOM HITS HER CHILD: @houstonpolice mugshot shows Lexus Stagg, who is accused of “playing chicken” when her SUV ran over and killed her 3-year-old child | The full story: https://t.co/vwmBt2kcNF pic.twitter.com/6ttvpCCQFu
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) June 21, 2019
However, after authorities acquired the surveillance video, officers confirmed that the child was run over while mother Lexus Stagg was driving forward, not in reverse, the ABC affiliate reported.
Two of the children moved out of the vehicle’s path, but Stagg’s 3-year-old was struck, Ogg’s office said in the release.
The child was first caught under the SUV’s right tire, the release said. Stagg didn’t stop right away and the toddler was hit again by the rear tire of the vehicle—which weighs about 5,600 pounds, according to the release.
Stagg initially told police that she thought she hit a speed bump, the release said.
Stagg was arrested on Thursday, June 20, and charged with criminally negligent homicide, the district attorney’s office said. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
She is being held on $1,500 bond. Prosecutors sought a higher amount of $50,000.
Houston mother who ran over, killed son charged in his death https://t.co/QoqqBhKjTW
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) June 21, 2019
An attorney for Stagg was not immediately available.
Stagg previously had two older children removed by child protective services in 2013, according to CNN affiliate KTRK. After the death of the 3-year-old, Lord Renfro, her two surviving children were also removed, the station reported.
“Every parent has an obligation to protect their children, even from themselves,” Ogg said. “Cars aren’t toys and playing chicken with your kids isn’t a game.”
Facts About Crime in the US
The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.
“From 1993 to 2017, the rate of violent victimization declined 74 percent, from 79.8 to 20.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated.
Both studies are based on data up to and including 2017, the most recent year for which complete figures are available.
The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
The CNN Wire and Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this article.