Man charged in rollover crash that killed baby on I-45 told HPD he wasn't driver, prosecutors say

Courtney Fischer Image
Friday, March 17, 2023
Man charged in fatal rollover crash said he wasn't driver: Prosecutors
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A judge set the alleged drunk driver's bond at $450,000 total. A 3-year-old who was ejected but survived reportedly suffered a brain bleed and a spinal injury.

HOUSTON Texas (KTRK) -- The man who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel when he crashed into a barrier wall on the North Freeway - killing a 1-year-old and sending a 3-year-old to the hospital - faced a judge for the first time on Friday morning.

Deadrian Aundre Baker, 33, is charged with murder and two counts of intoxication assault. The judge set his bond at $250,000 for the murder charge and another $100,000 for each intoxication assault charge. His total bond to get out of jail is $450,000.

Despite the multiple charges, Baker reportedly claimed he wasn't the one behind the wheel.

Court records show Baker was out on a $40,000 bond at the time of the crash for a previous injury to a child under 15 charge from February.

READ MORE: Driver charged with murder was intoxicated in rollover crash that killed 1-year-old, HPD says

When Baker went before the judge on Friday, more information was revealed about the injuries of the children.

Houston police said all four children were not restrained in the car, and two were ejected. There was reportedly one car seat inside the vehicle, but it was in the trunk.

The 3-year-old - who was critically hurt - reportedly suffered a brain bleed and a spinal injury. Two other boys, ages 5 and 10, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The rollover crash happened in the 8400 block of I-45 near Veteran's Memorial Drive around 10:35 p.m. Sunday.

A witness told HPD the vehicle somehow lost control, slammed into the concrete barrier, then flipped several times.

Police said they found Baker walking in the HOV lane, away from the scene of the crash, when they responded to the scene.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 1-year-old killed, 3 siblings hurt after vehicle flipped multiple times in ejection crash on I-45

There were two other adults in the car, too -- the suspect's 29-year-old brother who was critically hurt, and the 31-year-old mother of the children, who was not hurt.

In court, prosecutors said Baker told police that he only had one beer, despite reportedly having glassy eyes and failing field sobriety tests. Prosecutors also said Baker told police the kids' mother was the one behind the wheel.

"We are getting information that perhaps there might be an alternative driver here, somebody that was actually driving, not Mr. Baker," the suspect's attorney, Todd Dupont II, said. "My sole focus at this time is to try to run down those leads and understand exactly why there is information to think that that's a possibility."

"Does he say he was not driving the car?" ABC13 reporter Courtney Fischer asked the attorney.

"I can't get into that with you," Dupont said.

"What can you tell us about what he's told you?" Courtney asked.

"That's covered by privilege," Dupont said.

Legal advice privilege protects communications between a lawyer and client that are made for the purpose of legal advice.

If Baker posts bond, he'll be under house arrest. He'll be subjected to random drug testing and wouldn't be able to drive without an ignition Interlock breathalyzer in his vehicle.

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