A 26-year-old Houston woman is being held on a new, higher bail of $25,000 as she faces charges that she played a twisted game of chicken with her three young children, and killed her 3-year-old son when she hit him with her SUV—twice.
Lexus Stagg was arrested and jailed for a second time during a court appearance Monday on charges connected with the death of her 3-year-old son, the Houston Chronicle reports. Stagg had initially been freed from jail Saturday in the case on a much-lower $1,500 bond, but ordered to return to court again Monday.
“The state’s very happy that the judge agreed that the bond set by the magistrate was too low for the severity of this crime,” said Sean Teare, head of the Vehicular Crimes Unit of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, according to the Chronicle. “We believe this is an appropriate bond.”
Little 3-year-old Lord Renfro died June 11 after being crushed under the wheels of his mother’s 2006 Lincoln Navigator, prosecutors charge.
Surveillance footage captured Stagg’s young kids chasing after her while she drove her Navigator in reverse through a pool parking lot at their housing complex, according to the Washington Post.
When one child stopped in front of Stagg’s front bumper, authorities say, she put the SUV in drive and shot forward, according to the Post. Stagg’s two older children were able to jump out of the way, Fox 8 reports, but Stagg ended up slamming into her 3-year-old, and then continued forward, rolling over the small child, authorities charge.
Perhaps unaware of the surveillance video, Stagg initially told authorities Lord’s death was an “unfortunate accident” and that she thought she had hit a “speed bump,” the Post reports. Police and prosecutors after reviewing the footage called the ending of the child’s life “criminally negligent homicide.”
As the Post explained:
Prosecutors said Stagg originally told authorities that Lord ran behind her car when she was backing out and that she thought she’d hit a speed bump. But when the district attorney’s office obtained surveillance footage from the apartment complex the day after the incident, the tape showed a darker story.
Per the Chronicle:
The death was captured on surveillance footage and appears to show Stagg driving toward her three children in a parking lot, according [to] a probable cause document that described the video. Two of the kids darted out of the car’s path but the boy stood his ground.
Stagg faces up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted.
In what one would think wouldn’t have to be said, the Harris County district attorney, Kim Ogg, made the following statement, according to the Post:
“Every parent has an obligation to protect their children, even from themselves. Cars aren’t toys and playing chicken with your kids isn’t a game.”