Driver involved in Hwy 74 crash that killed infant held on $1.86M bail

UPDATE #4: 05/07/2016 4:30 p.m.

 

Marcus Green was arraigned in court and faces 11 felony charges, after last Sunday's fatal accident on Hwy 74 that killed Green's 5-month-old daughter, Armani.

Marcus Green was arraigned in court and faces 13 felony charges, after last Sunday’s fatal accident on Hwy 74 that killed Green’s 5-month-old daughter, Armani. Go Fund Me photo

California Highway Patrol officials announced that on Thursday, May 5, they arrested the father of an infant killed in last Sunday morning’s fatal crash on Highway 74 near Pinyon Pines. Marcus Novell Green, 51, of Thermal, had his first court appearance on charges related to the Sunday, May 1, fatal traffic collision, Friday, May 6.

Officials booked Green into jail with 13 felony counts, including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, murder, inflicting great bodily injury, willful harm to a child, two counts of being a habitual criminal and seven counts related to his state prison priors.

Green, who was in Indio Superior Court May 6, pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. He is currently incarcerated at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, and is being held in lieu of $1.86 million bail.

In addition to charges being filed against Green, additional charges are expected to be filed against the baby’s mother as well. She has been identified as Kristen Lauer, 22, of Rancho Mirage. Lauer is reportedly still receiving treatment at Desert Regional Medical Center. According to officials, Lauer sustained significant back and other injuries in the fatal crash.

Through their investigation, CHP officials determined speed was a primary contributing factor in the crash. According to officials, Green was driving his Porsche at an “excessive rate of speed,” while heading down the mountain towards Palm Desert when the fatal accident occurred.

Additionally, officials have determined Green and Lauer’s failure to properly secure the baby in an approved child safety restraint seat was the primary contributing factor in the baby’s tragic death.

Neither alcohol nor drugs were considered to be factors in the fatal crash, according to officials.

Green allegedly lost control while speeding in the two-seat Porsche he and Lauer were driving in on Hwy 74 – also known as the Pines to Palms Highway. When Green lost control of his vehicle it smashed through a guard rail near the Vista Point overlook.

5-month-old Armani Green was killed in last Sunday's fatal accident on Hwy 74. Armani was not properly secured in a child seat and was being held in Lauer's arms at the time of the fatal accident.

5-month-old Armani Green was killed in last Sunday’s fatal accident on Hwy 74. Armani was not properly secured in a child seat and was being held in Lauer’s arms at the time of the fatal accident. Go Fund Me photo

After crashing through the guard rail, the car plummeted over the edge of the mountainside. The twisted and mangled wreck reportedly end up coming to rest between 150-250 feet over the embankment.

CHP officials have stated the infant – who was not properly secured in an approved child safety seat in the two-seat Porsche – was ejected during the crash. The 5-month-old, identified by Coroner’s officials as Armani Green, suffered fatal injuries in the accident and later succumbed to her injuries at the scene.

Officials said Green is also facing special allegations charges related to numerous prior convictions in Los Angles County. A Superior Court records search revealed Green’s prior convictions include possession of stolen property in 1991, robbery from 1995, assault with a firearm in 1995, and possession of stolen property again in 1998.

One of the first people who came to Green and Lauer’s aid was Bryan Valenzuela. Valenzuela was reportedly riding his motorcycle along Hwy 74 Sunday morning when he came upon the deadly crash scene. Valenzuela was one of several citizens who reportedly risked their own lives climbing down the mountain into the ravine where Green’s Porsche finally came to rest. Valenzuela told responding officers he initially found Green and Lauer barely conscious in the destroyed Porsche.

According to officials, Green allegedly asked Valenzuela if he knew where the couple’s baby was. Valenzuela told emergency first responders he initially believed Green was confused until he began to search around the area of the wrecked car. Valenzuela said he eventually located the deceased child when he was making his my way back up the mountainside towards the roadway above the ravine. The deceased baby was reportedly found laying among vehicle debris down the rocky ravine.

First responders airlifted Green and Lauer to Desert Regional Medical Center with serious injuries related to the fatal accident.

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, Lauer. So far the Go Fund Me has received over 2,000 shares and raised $19,820 of $100,000 the family is attempting to raise for burial costs for Armani and medical expenses for Lauer. Individual donations ranged from $5 to $1,000.

Kristen Lauer pictured with Armani Green, in an undated photograph from a Go Fund Me account set up by Armani's grandparents.

Kristen Lauer pictured with Armani Green, in an undated photograph from a Go Fund Me account set up by Armani’s grandparents.

Countless people who have seen or been made aware of the family’s attempt to raise $100,000 for expenses related to Armani’s burial and Lauer’s medical expenses have expressed outrage and disgust, citing the facts related to the accident; including the fact the two adults and infant were inside a two-seat vehicle, that did not have a place for the baby to be properly secured in the high-performance vehicle.

Because Lauer was holding the infant in her arms at the time of the collision, many believe neither she nor Green showed any care or consideration for the safety of the 5-month-old victim.

One person, identified only as Jenn Y, donated $5, just so she could post the following message: “I’m so sorry that the gold digger & her sugar daddy decided to be irresponsible and not put their 5 month old baby in a car seat and as a result, have an innocent life taken away. I’m also sorry for all of you who are supporting these “parents” who should be in jail instead of asking for $100k.”

According to CHP officials, multiple felony charges are expected to be filed against Lauer when she has recovered enough to appear in court.

Green’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 10, at 8:30 a.m., at the Larsen Justice Center, in Indio.

ORIGINAL STORY

PINYON PINES – A  5-month-old girl from Rancho Mirage died Sunday, May 1, in a single-vehicle, rollover traffic accident, according to California Highway Patrol officials. Two other adults sustained major injures in the accident that caused the closure of both lanes of traffic along the highway between Pinyon Pines and Palm Desert. Highway 74 is also known as the Pines To Palms Highway in the area where the fatal accident occurred.

In a press release from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Spokeswoman Jody Hagemann explained, “The car went about 150 feet over the side of the road near Vista Point.”

The accident – involving a black, two-seat Porsche – was reported to emergency first responders at about 8:08 a.m.

According to a Coroner’s report, 5-month-old Armani Green was pronounced dead at 9:28 a.m., about one hour and one half hours after the crash occurred. The coroner’s release indicated the accident occurred on Highway 74, near Mile Marker 89, outside Palm Desert.

Two other people from inside the car suffered serious injuries in the crash. Both were airlifted off the side of the mountain and treated at the scene by emergency first responders before being transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.

18 firefighters from three engine companies and one truck company responded to the fatal accident. Emergency first responders from CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department, AMR, California Highway Patrol, and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident to assist with recovering deceased infant and extricating the victims from the mangled vehicle.

When emergency first responders arrived, they immediately began rescue operations for the two subjects trapped inside the Porsche. During their rescue efforts, officials learned that several citizens had stopped and risked their lives climbing down into the canyon to help those trapped in the wrecked car.

Among others, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, and a passing motorist all reportedly went down into the steep ravine to provide aid and comfort to those injured in the crash. While citizens attempted to assist the driver and passenger, the good Samaritans discovered an infant who was ejected from the car at the time of the collision. The infant sustained major traumatic injuries and was later pronounced dead at the scene by emergency first responders.

Witnesses at the scene later described seeing a child’s diaper bag, a child’s jacket, baby clothing, vehicle debris and other personal items that were found strewn about the roadway and down the steep embankment.

CHP officers requested assistance from H60 – one of their helicopters – to airlift the two survivors out of the steep ravine. After the technical hoist, paramedics treated both adult victims at the scene before they were taken by ambulance to Desert Regional Medical Center. The couple, described only as a male and female, have not yet been identified.

Although there were three people inside the wrecked vehicle, the Porsche the three victims were in only had seats and seat belts for two occupants, according to a CHP official. Because the car only had seats for two people, CHP officials stated they do not believe the infant was properly and legally restrained inside the vehicle.

The driver and passenger – who have now been identified as Green and Lauer– were in their seats and were wearing their safety belts. In spite of their injuries, both are expected to survive. According to officials, the woman was critically injured in the accident. A fire incident report from Cal Fire indicated both the male and female sustained major injuries in the accident.

After the crash, CHP officers called for the temporary closure of all traffic on Highway 74 between Pinyon Pines and Palm Desert. The closure lasted about 5 hours, while officers conducted an accident investigation and crews reportedly spent several hours recovering the destroyed Porsche from the ravine.

Both lanes of traffic were reportedly re-opened around 1 p.m.

According to a CHP official, the cause of the accident is still under investigation; however the official stated, “Based on the physical evidence and the way the collision occurred, it appears that speed was a contributing factor in this fatal accident.”

This was the second fatality on Highway 74 to occur in less than one month. CHP and CalTrans officials stated the guard rail that was destroyed in the crash was just repaired and replaced, after the other recent fatal accident in the same area.

Eutiquio Ramirez, of Indio, died April 10, after his vehicle went off the roadway and plummeted nearly 100 feet down the steep embankment.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

39 comments

  • A tragedy that could have been avoid…so sad all the way around! Maybe they should become advocates for car sest safety.

  • With such a lengthy criminal history, how is it he’s getting the keys to a Porsche? (Mom taught me never to be behind he wheel without having the means to finance my ride.) Funding either parent? How does rewarding selfish disgusting thoughtless behavior (must be Millennials) send them a much needed wake up call? Wouldn’t be surprised if, for them, the loss of the infant gets quickly forgotten in the face of all those bills. Likely they’ll ease their financial woes when they transfer them to taxpayers, while being incarcerated all financed by taxpayers and go fund me! Stop the insanity people!

    • The man is evidently married and his wife is the CEO and head Indian of Augustine Band of Indians so the money is probably no problem. No one is reporting on this though. It has all seemed to be hushed hushed the past few days.

      • Actually, you spilled the beans on me. I am in the process of writing a follow-up to my initial reports, including updated information on both Green as well as Lauer. But I don’t have quite all the information I need to take the story live.

        • YOU, are by far the best reporter with really telling the facts.
          I look forward to your next report to find out what is really going on and the condition of the mother and if she is actually going to be charged.

      • Yes and she died from stage 4 cancer.

    • He had wealthy wife that he was cheating on and that was dying from stage 4 cancer.

  • I’m waiting for updates… Again it is so sad for the baby and the family. Trevor, I think you did a great job on the story so far. They are paying the ultimate price for a mistake I’m sure they thought could never happen. I heart aches for them.

    • I too am waiting for updates. I know for a fact the DA’s office intends on charging the mother, Lauer. I will post an update the moment I have something to update with.

      • I really look forward to your next report as well! I agree that yours is by far the best, the most thorough and detailed. It’s such an awful thing that happened to that innocent child. I hope Lauer gets what is coming to her… I cannot wait for your next update!! Thank you for everything that you do!

      • The arrested the mother last week. Finally.

  • is marcus green out on bail yet?…have you tried to reach his wife?….

  • Hi…. I thought he had the court hearing today at 8:30/Indio for the bail reduction ?

    There was a small update on the go fund me page for Lauer and I think the only reason for the brief update is they saw a decline in anyone donating the past few days.
    There has been absolutely nothing on any funeral arrangements for the poor baby.
    How can the so called grandparents be so callous and unthoughtful to the public to set a go fund me account and then not update after people have given so graciously ?
    Has this poor baby been laid to rest ?

    So many questions and no answers!

    Just waiting for your update Trevor !

    • get-over-yourself

      How arrogant of you (Kathi) to judge…. They don’t owe you or anyone else “updates” during this extremely difficult time. Those that offered to donate, I’m sure did so without any strings attached of “getting an update.”
      Go do something positive with your life rather than waiting around for gossip

    • Only God Can Judge

      Yes he did have his court date this morning and let’s just say things are going well for the parents and there will be no murder charges.. The things a good Lawyer can do???Trevor does not have an update to give nor any other reporters or media…

  • ” Get-Over-Yourself ”
    You have it all wrong !!!!
    I don’t think the majority of us are waiting around for gossip as the story is pretty much PUBLIC unless you live under a rock here in the desert !
    I think YOU have it wrong !!!!!

    A 5 month old child was killed due to two adults arrogance and ignorance!
    One is in jail on murder charges and the other ……??????……. Only time will tell what the DA will do.
    When a person sets up a ” go fund me” for what ever reason , that person is open for the public’s opinion. Many people donated 5.00 just to leave derogatory comments. Which I think maybe have been erased ??
    ” YOU” my friend, should scour all the other comments on different news sites and see the comments ! My comment was very mild and considerate ! YOU will be VERY busy for the next month making comments to all of them !

    By the way……”MY” life is happy & positive ! Is yours ?

  • Only God Can Judge

    Kathi from your first post on this feed was letting the world know this mans business that he was married!! Did u stop to think maybe him and his wife were not together anymore?…Hmmmmm it seems you have an awful lot of information… Maybe you should have became the reporter on this story or better yet maybe you shouldn’t be so damn nosey.Unless you know all the facts…. What is it any of your business when they will lay this baby to rest were you going to go to the funeral??? Probably not you are just being Nosey and want something to Gossip about as Get over yourself stated!!! Did you donate any money!!! No!!!! I didn’t think so!!! Alot of those donations came from family friends co-workers and the school… By the way who are well updated on the story and the funeral arrangements!!! It’s just Nosey ass people like yourself and the media that everything is Hushed too… There is so much more to this story then anyone knows… I do know for a fact Marcus Green did not lose control of his Porsche and was not speeding!!! So let’s not be so quick to Judge.. Yes the baby should have never been in the car with the parents and both parents have to live with that for the rest of their life.. We all make mistakes and regardless of Marcus’s pass and the decisions he made when he was a lot younger he’s already paid his debt.. I’m sure we all have did something and thought to ourselves this will never happen to me..It’s very sad to read a person just waiting around for gossip or to see if these parents are going to be punished by being convicted for murder or manslaughter after losing their child to a horrible accident.. Could it have been prevented Yes!!! However let’s not be so quick to Judge…. It doesn’t matter how much money they raised on the go fund me or you think Marcus’s wife has….. You don’t know the whole story and you never will!!! For God sake let this family lay this 5 month old child to rest in peace… No one wins in this terrible situation this family has lost a child a grandchild and a niece and a little sister this is what this beautiful child was to this family.. Not to mention the parents have to live with them losing their beautiful little girl and no matter how much time they get behind bars for the awful mistake they made it will never bring this precious little girl back…SOOOOOO Instead of judging these parents for a mistake they made let’s keep them all in prayer.. We can all judge these parents but who are we really to judge!!! Yes this story was public when the accident first aired and only for one court hearing update on Marcus Green other then that we should all just go back to our Happy Lives Kathy and worry about ourselves… Hope you can find some closure in your story hunting… By the way there was only 1 person that left an awful comment and they only donated $5… Hmmmm maybe just someone who was jealous of this couples relationship!!!! Just a thought!!!!

    • The simple fact that so many people were willing to donate $500, $1,000 and I believe I even saw a $2,000 donation, it either says a lot about how much this couple was loved and respected or how much the person who created the GFM page is loved and respected. One way or another, it is everyone’s personal right to choose who they donate to and why. Like religion and political affiliations, it is a personal choice. I, for one, do not begrudge those who have donated, as they obviously had their personal reasons.

      As for an update, that is something I am working on and still gathering relevant, not personal information. I will not get into a situation where I am publicly judging someone because there are always multiple sides to every story. Even as a reporter/journalist, there is only so much information I can obtain, and I prefer not to delve into people’s personal lives unless there is direct relevance. In this case, some of the personal information between the couple and Marcus’ marital status are relevant due to the fact that the child of the couple was tragically killed.

      But my next follow up will primarily have just the facts necessary to update the court status of the couple. I’ll save the gossip and innuendo for the tabloids.

    • get-over-yourself

      I appreciate you, (Only God can judge)

    • obviously you have some relation to the parents but you really need to take a step back and look at the charges that have been filed against the father(and quite possibly the mother once recovered) vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, murder, inflicting great bodily injury, willful harm to a child. WILLFUL HARM TO A CHILD. and that’s exactly what occurred. people have become very invested in this story and outraged and want to see that justice is served because its perplexing to think that a father and mother would even contemplate for one second getting into a vehicle with a child of any age and not have him/her 100% properly secured then proceed to drive down a winding mountain road. i think people are more outraged to hear that the parents made sure to put their seat belts on but not their baby! Every time you get into a vehicle and drive it is dangerous and anything can happen and as a parent your JOB is to take care of your children. So its not about judging its about common sense. Now a 5 month old baby is dead and it is a direct result of the parents negligence not an “accident” because you dont accidentally put your baby in a car with no car seat but have your seat belt on sorry but its the truth and like i said the D.A agrees

  • Only God Can Judge

    ????

  • I too have wondered how Kristen is doing and wondered when they laid the baby to rest. I new Marcus and Kristen a while back so have been concerned. I have heard plenty of rumors about Marcus but would never post here. I always liked Marcus and he was always very kind to me. It’s a horrible mistake they will live with for the rest of their lives. Its still heartbreaking and this has truly broken my heart. I don’t always think people want to gossip. I think people have a heartbreak and they truly want to understand what happened and what is happening. I don’t think Kathi was in the gossip group. I thought she had a concern. But that is just my opinion. God bless them all!

  • as a parent of two children both in car seats i would never even consider getting into my car with them not being properly secured. And i believe that’s why everyone is so upset about what happened. it is common sense to put your child in a car seat, no argument, no debate, it is the law! second i think when an account is set up to the public asking for money you then invite the public opinion. if you want privacy keep things private. also people know the grandparents own their own business and the father was driving a new Porsche so then people start asking well why are you asking for 100k? funerals don’t cost that much and if they needed money for medical bills because the daughter couldn’t afford them well apply for emergency medical. things in the story just don’t add up and the details we have so far just don’t make sense. there is a baby that’s dead so questions need to be asked. and as far as feeling bad for the parents for an “accident” i refuse. i feel bad for the baby who never got a chance at life. it was the parents responsibility to make sure that child was safe. and apparently the D.A thinks so too, they don’t file those kinds of charges against people for no reason. im not gossiping im talking about the facts we have so far.

  • To just saying… Exactly!

    • some people dont like hearing the truth but its not everyone else fault what happened only the parents so peoples anger is justifiable.

  • Sorry they endangered innocent bystanders lives that tried to rescue them and sorry they were irresponsible enough to make sure their baby was not in a safe environment within a speeding auto.
    Accusing someone of being jealous of this relationship is ludicris. A 51 yr old washed up old married man with a rap sheet as long as pinnochio’s nose and a 22yr old dumber than s___ woman? Jealous of what, prey tell??

  • Hi. I would like to know if there is any update on Marcus and Kristen..
    Thank You!

  • My husband and i pray for all those who were affected by this tragedy..This is a nightmare that the parents will live with for the rest of their lives..i wish people would stop judging these parents.. For the lord is our judge,the lord is our lawgiver,the lord is our king; He will save us.. (Isaiah 33:22) They did not think when they put that beautiful baby in that car without a car seat..Im sure not in a million year they thought they would crash and lose their baby that day…It don’t matter how much time they get or how much you think you know about someone personal life or about the nasty comments you leave because when all said and done they lost their babygirl and they will be the ones who will suffer for their mistake for the rest of their lifes eventually everyone will go on with their lifes and Marcus and Kristen will always have a piece of their heart gone…luanne and Dexter Marcus friend…

    • You are right! Luanne. I know Marcus he’s a great person we kept in touch from time to time. I was just wondering how he was in this hard time..I pray for him hope he finds peace.

    • the lord also gave us all a brain to use(Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.) and your right they didnt think because if they did they would never put there baby in a car going down a winding mountain road with no car seat.

  • Trevor Montgomery, thanks for covering. Do you still plan to write an update on this story? Do you or anyone else have updates on either of the parents’ conditions, pending charges, etc.?

    • Thank you, Ben.

      As of Tuesday, July 25 at 2 a.m., a jail record search indicated Green is still in custody. He is currently being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. His next court date is scheduled for August 9, at 8:30 a.m. at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. He remains in jail in lieu of 1.86 million dollars bail.

      Both a jail record search and a Superior Court search failed to show any information on Kristen Lauer, with no pending court dates.

      -TM

  • Cinnamon sv Swirl

    We just heard about this OMG…our hearts are very heavy!! Our old friend “Markie”, made such a bad judgement call for what ever reason he was transporting the mother and baby in that particular car. Our prayers go out to Markie and his family as well as the mother’s family. We’re so sorry for you’ll loss of such a beautiful baby girl.
    We love you Marc!!

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