Father of infant killed in HWY 74 crash pleads not guilty

CHP officers said Marcus Green is charged with felony vehicular manslaughter

PINYON PINES, Calif. - 5/6 Marcus Green pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon as he faces felony vehicular manslaughter and felony child endangerment charges. This coming after the death of his infant daughter who was unrestrained in his Porsche when it went over the side of the mountain on Highway 74 Sunday morning.

Green pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, and he's being held on $1.8 million bail.

Officials said Green is also facing special allegations for numerous prior convictions in Los Angles County. His prior convictions all occurred in November, and include a robbery from 1995, assault with a firearm in 1995, stolen property in 1991 and 1998.

KESQ and CBS Local 2 were at the Larson Justice Center for Green's initial court appearance. We'll continue to keep you updated on the progress of the case as it moves forward.

5/5 Update: The California Highway Patrol announced Thursday afternoon that the father of the infant who was killed in Sunday morning's crash on Highway 74 has been arrested.

Officers said Marcus Green is facing felony vehicular manslaughter and felony child endangerment charges after his 5-month-old daughter was killed in the crash. The infant was unrestrained and was ejected during the collision.

Green was driving a Porsche and ended up colliding into a guardrail before the car went over the edge of the mountainside. Officers said speed was a factor in the crash.

Green and the baby's mother, 22-year-old Kristen Lauer of Rancho Mirage, were both recovering at the hospital following the crash. There's no word on their specific conditions at this time, but officers said Lauer is still being treated at Desert Regional Medical Center.

There's no word at this time if Lauer will also be facing similar charges in the baby's death. KESQ and CBS Local 2 will provide updates as soon as they're available.

Infant killed after being unrestrained in Porsche

An infant was killed and her parents were hospitalized after a car fell 200 feet down the side of the mountain near Pinyon Pines Sunday morning. Officers said speed was a factor in the crash, causing the driver Marcus Green to lose control of his Porsche.

Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash, Officer Rivera with the California Highway Patrol announced Wednesday morning.

CHP officers identified the girl as 5-month-old Armani Green of Rancho Mirage. She wasn't properly secured in a child safety seat and was ejected during the crash.

Armani's grandparents set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money for their granddaughter's funeral and help cover the medical costs of their daughter, Kristen Lauer.

Armani's father, 51-year-old Marcus Green of Thermal, was driving the Porsche coupe. CHP officers said Green was headed down the mountain towards Palm Desert at around 8 a.m. when the vehicle crashed through a barrier and fell off a cliff on Highway 74 near the Coachella Valley Vista Point. 

Officers said Kristen Lauer sustained back injuries in the crash. KESQ and CBS Local 2 confirmed she is a graduate of Desert Christian Academy in Bermuda Dunes.

The school released the following statement:

Since learning that one of our graduates was involved in a tragic car accident on highway 74, Desert Christian Academy has been in prayer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. Out of respect for the family's privacy, we can not provide any additional details.

By His Grace,

Debbee Scott, Head of School

First responders airlifted Green and Lauer to the hospital with serious injuries.

At this time, no charges have been filed and the crash is still under investigation. Officer Rivera said both of the child's parents could face child endangerment charges and/or possible vehicular manslaughter charges.

Bryan Valenzuela was riding his motorcycle Sunday morning when he came across the crash. He scaled the mountain to find Green and Lauer conscious in their car.  Green asked Valenzuela where his baby girl was.

Valenzuela just though Green was confused until he looked around.

"I saw the child when I was going on my way up, she was laying on the rocks," Valenzuela said.  He said the incident really impacted him because he's a father.  He said this incident could have been avoided.

"I think it's very irresponsible of the parents. I think mostly the cause of this child's death was because of the ignorance of the parents," Valenzuela said.

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