Trial date set for officer involved in crash that killed Brusly teens

Maggie Dunn and Caroline Gill

WEST BATON ROUGE — A trial date has been set for the ex-Addis police officer who crashed into a car, killing two Brusly High teens during a police chase on New Year’s Eve.

David Cauthron’s trial is set to begin on March 18, 2024. He was indicted in February on two counts of manslaughter, aggravated obstruction of highway and commerce, negligent injuring of Liam Dunn, and malfeasance in office charges.

Cauthron was speeding while pursuing Tyquel Zanders, who had allegedly broken into his parents’ home and stolen their car. Cauthron was on LA 1 when investigating officials say he failed to brake when passing through a red light and smashed into another vehicle, killing Caroline Gill and Maggie Dunn.

Maggie’s brother, Liam, 20, was the backseat passenger in the vehicle and spent nearly a month in the hospital before he was released.

Today, Sept. 7, a trial date was set during a court date before a West Baton Rouge Parish judge.

“We appreciate Tony Clayton and everyone in his office for their work on this case,” said Erin Martin, Maggie and Liam’s mother. “We’re just anxious to see justice served so we can continue the healing process – trying to put our lives and families back together.”

Liam Dunn (left), Erin Martin (mom center), Maggie Dunn (right)

Maggie’s dad, Randall Dunn, said they have to trust the justice system that it will provide the right outcome.

“I am confident that the district attorney’s office will present the evidence in this case in a manner that will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that this perpetrator is guilty of the crime he committed,” he said. “I love my daughter and miss her every day. I still have a lot to be thankful for, though. Liam’s health is getting better. He’s back enrolled in school. He hurts for his sister every day, but he’s strong and will be OK.”

The news comes just one day shy of what would have been Caroline Gill’s 16th birthday on Sept. 8th.

Caroline with mother Kim

Gill’s mother, Kim Elliott, said the last eight months have been indescribable. Having a trial date set gives them hope for justice.

“Living every day for the rest of our lives without our sweet Caroline is an indescribable pain,” Elliott explained. “It’s a pain that never goes away. I can only hope that we see justice and change. All of this hurt can’t be for nothing. Maggie and Caroline deserve better. I am glad to see things finally moving forward. Having a date brings some relief.”

Caroline’s father, Jason Gill, hopes the trial date stays on schedule.

“It’s just a big hole in my chest that won’t ever be filled,” he said.

District Attorney Tony Clayton said they got what they asked for Thursday.

“The state of Louisiana is ready for trial,” he said. “The judge gave us a quick trial date, and we will start lining up our witnesses and get ready for trial.”

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