Grand Jury

A West Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted former Addis Police officer David Cauthron and Tyquel Zanders on multiple charges for their involvement in the New Year's Eve crash that killed Caroline Gill and Maggie Dunn.

A grand jury initiated by District Attorney Tony Clayton convened Friday morning at the West Baton Rouge Courthouse indicting both former Addis police officer David Cauthron and Tyquel Zanders.

Zanders was driving the car that the officer was pursuing resulting in the deaths of two Brusly high school students Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill. 

Based on evidence provided by Clayton, the grand jury unanimously agreed on the following charges for Cauthron: two counts of manslaughter, with the underlying felony being one count of aggravated obstruction of a highway, one count malfeasance, one count negligent injury and one count reckless operation.

Zanders' charges include two counts of manslaughter, with the underlying felony being aggravated flight from an officer, one count of negligent injury and one count reckless operation.

Clayton explained that manslaughter is a charge that by definition fits when an unintentional death occurs during the act of committing a felony. Both vehicles were at speeds topping 100 mph during the pursuit. 

“Blue lights don’t give you the right to part the Red Sea,” said Clayton. "Now you get caught up—particularly that officer and that other young man—you get caught up or they got caught up in that adrenaline, and that adrenaline turns to tunnel vision, and that tunnel vision turned into the death of these kids; inexcusable.”

Both the Dunn and Gill families expressed gratitude for the proceedings.

"I feel relieved," said Caroline's father, Jason Gill. "I feel like justice will be served. That was the right call in my opinion. Nothing will ever take it away, but I think justice needs to be served in this case."

Clayton stated, “These were the maximum penalties that could’ve been brought.”

After arraignment, the court allows 30 days for the defendant’s attorneys to file motions. Clayton stated he will have an open file discovery for the defense teams. If a trial is needed, the judicial process is estimated to take another 18 months to two years.

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