Caroline Gill’s family in court: “I hope her face haunts you every waking moment” | Officer apologized for killing her

PORT ALLEN — The family of Caroline Gill, a 15-year-old sophomore at Brusly High School, was front and center in a West Baton Rouge courtroom Monday. It was slated to be jury selection for the trial against David Cauthron, a former Addis Police Officer, whose actions during a police chase ultimately killed Gill & her best friend Maggie Dunn.

Cauthron was charged with two counts of negligent homicide for the Dec. 31, 2022 crash in Brusly. He was helping Baton Rouge police in pursuit of a man on La 1 southbound, who had stolen his dad’s car from Baton Rouge.

In lieu of trial, he pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and one count of negligent injuring. In total, he was sentenced to 32 years with 22 years suspended. That means, he will serve roughly 10 years behind bars. After his release, he will be required to speak to high school students about his experience and remain on three years active supervised probation. He is never to work in law enforcement again, per the conditions of the plea deal.

READ NOW: Maggie Dunn family’s victim impact statements to Cauthron

Cauthron must turn himself into the West Baton Rouge Parish jail on May 23, 2024 to begin serving his time.

Watch Gill & Dunn families respond after court.

During court, Gill’s family had the opportunity to make their victim impact statements through the tears and as many in the courtroom tried to fight back their tears. For the first time in nearly 15 months since the deadly crash, Cauthron spoke to the families and apologized for his actions. However, through out all of Caroline Gill family’s statements, he never made eye contact with them. Below are each family member’s statements as well as Cauthron’s response.

Victim Impact Statements

I will never forgive you for what you have single handedly taken from me, my family, her siblings and our community. The words you spoke that were caught on the dash cam were, “F***, this is gonna hurt.” This haunts me every day and I hope that it does the same to you. I hope that you see my beautiful daughter’s face every time you close your eyes because yours were the last thing she got to see right before you murdered her. This was not an accident, as you knew exactly what you were doing. All for what, that you would, in hopes be a hero that you caught someone that stole his daddy‘s car? Wow, what an accomplishment that would have been for you. Because other than that, you served no purpose to law enforcement, and did nothing to protect the communities. From eating donuts at RaceTrac, to going grocery shopping while on the clock on taxpayers’ expense, you were useless as a public servant. Just as you are now. You did nothing except give law-enforcement a bad name across this great country. I personally do not care about the amount of suffering you may endure. YOU, and YOU alone, served me and my family a life sentence. I do wish that I could spare your kids from any suffering that they may have because of your actions. Here are a few things you took from me. I will never get to see my daughter drive. I will never get to see her cheer, go to homecoming or prom. I will not get to see her graduate. I will never get to walk her down the aisle. I will never get to see her kids with her personality, which was one of a kind. All we have now is a limb on our tree, that did not have the chance to grow because of you. But the true shame here is this case is looked at differently, because you were so-called law enforcement. If I was to commit the same violent crime, it would have been handled differently. When you said those words, “F***, this is gonna hurt,” you were no longer law-enforcement, because you put public safety to the side to try to be a hero. So for this, I hope you suffer every day, every second, every breath you take; I pray again, that every time you close your eyes, you think of caroline. I pray you see her beautiful face. I personally hope it haunts you every waking moment you have left on earth!

Jason Gill (Caroline Gill’s Father)

I start most of my days bringing my two younger girls to school. As I drive through the intersection where the wreck happened, I glance over at the two memorial crosses that symbolize the lives of Caroline and Maggie, lives that had only just begun. Lives taken by carelessness and disregard for human life. I think to myself this is where my precious girl took her last breath. I relive all of the terrible things that happened that day, multiple times a day, EVERY DAY. After dropping the little kids at school, I go to the graveyard and sit, even if just for a moment, and visit. This is how I get to feel close to my sweet Caroline Gill. My innocent, 15-year-old daughter that you killed. You took her from us forever. Caroline never comes back. She would be receiving her graduation ring this week and going to her first prom. Precious moments that have been taken from us. That is just a small amount of of the hell that is now our lives. Parents without their child, siblings without their sister, grandparents without their grandchild, and the list goes on. I have seen the dash cam footage and listened to the audio inside the vehicle. You say, “F***, this is gonna hurt,” but choose not to even tap your brakes. Your choices that day, in total disregard for the law and the safety of others, is inexcusable. There is no greater pain in this life and losing a child. You won’t be given a life sentence for killing Caroline and Maggie, but you deserve one.

Kim Elliott (Caroline Gill’s Mother)

Caroline Gill & her older sister Mallory Gill

My name is Mallory Gill, and I am the older sister of Caroline Gill and friend of Maggie Dunn. My life has been permanently altered due to your actions, and I stand here vulnerably, hopefully able to paint a picture of a portion of the pain you have inflicted upon all those who surround you today.

December 31, 2022, will forever remain the most traumatic day of my life, although it is one I still have to piece together like a puzzle every time I reminisce about it. I remember bits and pieces, such as the buckling of my knees, as I received the life altering phone call while I remained helpless at work, the heartbroken, tumultuous, kicking and screaming, as I was driven away from the scene of the accident to my house, nearly a block away, and being carried into my house, as my body couldn’t fathom the thought of functioning without the presence of Caroline. Caroline Gill is the only person throughout my entire life that I can recall seeing and speaking to every single day, and in one singular moment of utter ignorance, you called that to a screeching halt. You continued with your actions, knowing you were endangering, others, and immediately ripped hundreds of hearts in half and two beautiful, vibrant souls from this earth.

During the 442 days that have passed since this tragedy, my family and I have continued to face extensive emotional turmoil. It is unfair that the four of Caroline’s younger siblings, all under the age of 10, are having to wrap their heads around the loss of such a significant figure in their lives. it is unfair that her parents are trying to move forward without the infectious positivity that she radiated and used to uplift them in daily life. It is unfair that I am navigating the new phase of life entering college has brought about without the person that knew me better than anyone. It is unfair to have to watch Caroline‘s friends and classmates mourn her presence and face such confusing heartache during what is supposed to be the best four years of their lives. It is unfair that this community is forever tainted gray, and dimmed darker because of your actions.

In just two days, Caroline would be earning her class ring. In just two months, Maggie would be graduating high school. We will now never get to see them meet another monumental moment. We’ll never get to know all of what they could have been. if love could have saved Caroline and Maggie, I have no doubt that they would be here with us today. They were loved beyond measure, yet we’re unfortunately met with your rash and impulsive behavior. That’s so horrifically took their lives. I hope you were left with the lingering thought of all the love you stole from the lives of those that are surrounding you today and also the lives you ended that can never be replaced.

Mallory Gill (Older sister to Caroline Gill)

Because of my decisions in December 2022, your families will never be the same. I apologize. I became a police officer to protect people but that’s not what happened that day. Nothing I say will bring those kids back. Liam, I am so sorry for the pain I caused you. To Maggie & Caroline, I apologize. I wish I could trade places with them everyday.

David Cauthron (Former Addis Officer whose actions killed Gill & Dunn)

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