An active-duty soldier has been charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son, who was hit by a vehicle after the suspect forced him to get out of the car along an Alabama road last weekend, authorities said.
Army Sgt. Bryan Starr, 35, was driving on Alabama Highway 165 Sunday evening when the boy became “unruly” inside the vehicle, Russell County officials told reporters at a news conference Monday. The heartless suspect then pulled over at a church parking lot and told the child to get out in the rain, Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
The victim, identified as Austin Birdseye, apparently wandered into the highway before being struck by a Toyota Avalon, according to the sheriff.
“He has no idea where he is or how to get home,” Taylor said. “Who thinks to tell a 5-year-old to get out of a car because they’re being potentially loud?”
Starr, who was alone in his Dodge Charger, lost sight of the boy after kicking him out and only noticed that he’d been hit after several cars began stopping on the highway, the sheriff told reporters.
Austin was pronounced dead at a hospital just before 9 p.m., local news station WTVM reported.
The suspect was charged with reckless murder in connection with the incident. The driver who fatally struck the boy was not expected to face any charges, though the investigation is ongoing.
Starr, who’s originally from Illinois, is stationed at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, according to a statement from the Army. Taylor believes he and Austin’s mother have been dating and living together for several years.
“I can’t imagine the mother’s grief that she’s going through,” the sheriff said. “It’s just tough.” (NY DAILY NEWS)