Former Addis officer pleads guilty, sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in police chase that killed two Brusly teens

PORT ALLEN — On Monday, the former Addis Police officer who killed two Brusly teens during a police pursuit on New Year’s Eve in 2022 pleaded guilty to several charges and received a 10-year prison sentence.

David Cauthron admitted guilt to two counts of manslaughter and one count of negligent injuring. While initially facing a 32-year sentence, 22 years were suspended.

Two young girls and best friends, Caroline Gill & Maggie Dunn, lost their lives tragically when David Cauthron, while assisting Baton Rouge Police in pursuing a man in a stolen vehicle, was involved in a collision.

Tyquel Zanders, 24, reportedly started the pursuit after breaking into his parents’ home in Baton Rouge on December 31, 2022, assaulting his father, and then stealing their car.

The pursuit led officers through East Baton Rouge Parish into West Baton Rouge Parish, where Cauthron joined on La 1 southbound. Approaching a red light on La 1, Cauthron was speeding for the pursuit and collided with Dunn and Gill’s car. Although he had activated his lights and sirens, it is alleged that he failed to brake when approaching the red light.

Dunn & Gill were turning onto La 1 with a green light when the collision occurred. Tragically, the crash claimed the lives of the Brusly High cheerleaders and best friends, Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill, at the scene. Liam Dunn, Maggie Dunn’s brother, was in the backseat. He was badly injured but survived the crash.

Following the incident, Cauthron was arrested on January 2, 2023, and charged with two counts of negligent homicide in West Baton Rouge Parish. Upon posting bail, Cauthron submitted his resignation letter to Addis Police.

David Cauthron in court

Instead of proceeding to trial on the charges of negligent homicide for which he was arrested, Cauthron opted to accept a plea deal in court on March 18, with the approval of the Gill & Dunn families.

In addition to serving jail time, the plea agreement stipulates that Cauthron will be permanently barred from working in law enforcement in any capacity upon his release. He will also be subjected to three years of probation and will have to pay all associated fines.

As part of the plea deal, the families requested that Cauthron engage with high school students, sharing his experience in hopes of preventing similar tragedies in the future.

Impact statements from Gill & Dunn families

The families spoke outside of court after the plea hearing. UWK was there live.

WATCH IT HERE

Read Now: Maggie Dunn family’s statements to Cauthron

Read Now: Caroline Gill family’s statements to Cauthron

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