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Columbia police officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in child’s death

Columbia officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in child's death.
Columbia officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in child's death.

Andria Heese, an officer for the Columbia Police Department, was charged with first-degree manslaughter in a child's death.

Heese hit and killed 4-year-old Gabriella Curry on Jan. 4 in her patrol vehicle. According to crash reports, the officer was trying to park on the sidewalk at Battle High School so she could watch students load onto school buses.

Authorities said the child was walking on the sidewalk when she was struck by the vehicle. Curry was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Per department protocol, Heese was put on administrative leave.

The investigation into the crash was handed to Camden County prosecutors, according to the state patrol.

"We've been working with the Highway Patrol," Camden County prosecutor Heather Miller told ABC 17 News on Monday. "We've been in contact with the family, working with them and making sure that all the ducks were in a row before we were comfortable filing the case."

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Heese had not yet been booked into Boone County Jail.

City spokesman Steve Sapp said he did not have any information to share on Monday afternoon. Chief Geoff Jones was aware of the situation, Sapp said.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum of ten years. Heese could receive probation if found guilty of the crime.

The city of Columbia's insurer paid Curry's parents $3.4 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit in May. The family also received $125,000 from Columbia Public Schools to settle claims.

Don Weaver, an attorney representing Heese in the past, did not respond to a request for comment on Monday afternoon. ABC 17 News previously reported that Weaver urged Miller's office to employ video forensic experts to review the highway patrol's reports.

Boone / Columbia Public Schools / Crime / News / Top Stories / Top Stories

Molly Stawinoga

Molly Stawinoga is ABC 17’s weekend morning anchor, reporter and producer at ABC 17 News. Molly joined the news team in 2017 while studying political science, journalism and Spanish at the University of Missouri. She is originally from DeKalb, Illinois.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

Comments

13 Comments

  1. It’s about time. Investigate a traffic accident from Jan 4th until December 30th. Pulling a vehicle on to a walkway is ludacris. I dont care what they did in the past or what the school or police departments policy is. There are places to park and places to walk for a reason. It’s to protect the public. Police officers should be held to a higher standard but yet it takes an entire year to complete an investigation against an officer. If it was a civilian who ran over and killed a child on the sidewalk at a school they would have arrested them right then and would have been charged by the end of the day.

  2. What a load of crap , charge the parents . Who let’s a 4 year old walk down a sidewalk alone?,. Heese is a good hearted honest cop . She made a mistake that ultimately would not have happened if the parents were being parents , adding a criminal charge to a accident that I’m sure will forever be a troubesome burden on her soul ,. And cost her career and possibly her freedom, not to mention what the community will suffer due to the loss of a respectable police officer,. Instead of rewarding the parents for their neglegence with a fortune. I say hold them accountable and charge them for the death of this child. Im not one who ever sides with the police but the responsibility should rest solely on the parents.

  3. SHE WILL BE SUSPEND SUSPENION FOR COUPLE I THINK HIRED AN LAWYER MASON & MATLOCK THAT IS BECAUSE SHE IS GOING AWAY FOR A LONG TIME JUST LIKE GUIDING LIGHT’S HARLEY COOPER SHOT PHILLIP SPAULDING WITH 2 SHOTS

  4. Your dept and DAs office have lost their minds. Unless there are additional circumstances like alcohol, drugs, reckless driving etc. This is a tragic accident. As a retired law enforcement officer it is obvious, there is an active war on law enforcement. Appears in this case to be pushed by the DA. This young lady, young officer swore an oath to at any moment risk her own life to save others in this thankless, low paying, high stress career field and in return, for obviously making a tragic mistake that took this baby’s life the officer is being treated like a criminal.

  5. Why are some of you blaming the parents. When I was 4 , i wasn’t at my mother’s hip. Believe it or not, sometimes I was 20 ft away and was still in her LOS. I was taught to stay out of the street and my mother had confidence that the sidewalk wouldn’t be used as a road. My mother and I followed those rules. The woman that killed the child did not follow the rules and was hired by the city to enforce those rules. Her bad decision cost a life and now she has to pay a price. She may be as kind-hearted person, but there are consequences to bad decisions.

  6. Charge the parents? Who lets a 4-year-old walk down a sidewalk alone? What ridiculous statements. The operative word here is SIDEWALK. There should never be a vehicle on a sidewalk, especially near buses who will presumably have children walking down them! It doesn’t matter that the child was 4. Would you have felt better if it were a 2nd grader walking from the school to the bus ON THE SIDEWALK that got hit? Good lord. A sidewalk is for walking, not parking. This is nobody’s fault but the officer who decided to drive up on a sideWALK.

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