A group of five friends from St. Helena Parish was in Baton Rouge with plans to go to Top Golf to enjoy their Saturday.
Around 6:15 pm on Saturday March 12, the group was on Siegen Ln. The victim, identified by her family as Karrington Len Jade Smith, 17, was sitting in the front passenger seat. The accused, Chad Blackard, 23, was sitting in the rear right passenger seat directly behind Smith.
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According to his arresting documents, Blackard “removed his handgun and holster from his side and hung it on the rear front right passenger seat. When he attempted to reposition his gun, it ‘went off’.” Blackard added that “he may have accidently removed a portion of the gun from the holster and squeezed the trigger while he was readjusting it.”
The single round fired traveled through the front right passenger’s seat and hit Smith in her back. She was transported to a hospital in critical condition but she and her 25-week old fetus died from the gunshot wound.
“On Angel wings you were taken away, but in our hearts you will always stay,” said Smith’s mother. She added the baby’s name was Dallas Layne.
Blackard told investigators he was “playing with his semi-automatic handgun when he discharged it striking the victim in the back.” Detectives said Blackard “continued to eject the magazine and brag about how his gun outperforms the gun owned by one of the other occupants.”
Blackard has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide, third degree feticide and illegal use of weapons.
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