An active-duty soldier is facing murder charges after he allegedly made his longtime girlfriend's 5-year-old son get out of his car, who was then fatally struck by another passing vehicle, according to reports. Bryan Starr, 35, of Alabama is being charged with murder due to his reckless disregard of the boy, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told reporters, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
The soldier allegedly told investigators that the young boy was acting "unruly" during the car ride on Sunday evening, forcing him to pull his Dodge Charger into a church parking lot near Alabama Highway 165, where he left the boy in the rain, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Police reportedly said Starr told them he lost sight of the young boy and noticed cars stopping on the highway. The boy had wandered off into traffic where a Toyota Avalon struck him, authorities said. Starr turned himself in shortly after. The child died later that evening at Piedmont Columbus Regional, officials said.
”What do you say to that? What is your thought process when you tell a 5-year-old to get out of the car on a rainy night because they were being loud in the car?” the sheriff told the outlet. “It’s just heartbreaking.”
Police say there is no indication that the car that struck the young boy would have been able to avoid him, the outlet reported.
Starr and his girlfriend, Christina Birdseye, 33, share a home on Utah Street in Fort Mitchell, the outlet reported. She was not in the car at the time of the incident.
According to state law, "a person can be charged with murder if they engage recklessly in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to a person other than himself or herself, and thereby causes the death of another person," the Ledger reported.
State troopers will be handling the accident investigation and the sheriff's office is handling the murder investigation, the outlet reported.
Starr was released on bond before his court hearing, according to the court clerk.