Mom Accused of Deliberately Running Over Toddler & Killing Him During Game of 'Chicken'

ABC News

A mother in Texas has been charged with killing her toddler son by running over him with her SUV during what prosecutors are calling a game of “chicken.”

  • Lexus Stagg, 26, allegedly drove directly toward her children in the parking lot of their Houston apartment complex and struck and killed 3-year-old Lord Renfro.

    Surveillance video captured the incident and shows a white SUV backing up as three children run after it. The vehicle then goes forward and heads toward the children.

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  • Although two of the three children were able to get out of the vehicle’s path, Renfro was struck and died later at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

    According to ABC 13, police initially thought the incident was an accident. “The 3-year-old child ran behind her vehicle as she backed out of her parking spot," Lt. Thurston Roberson of the Houston Police Department said at the time. 

    But after reviewing the surveillance video and further investigation, authorities are claiming it was a deliberate act.

    "She was in her car and her children were playing in front of her in the parking lot. She put her car into reverse, and drove at least 100 feet," prosecutor Sean Teare said, describing what is on the video.

    "The three kids followed her, followed the car, at which point, the defendant put her car into drive and drove toward her children as they were running toward her. The two older children were able to get out of the way, and tragically, the younger child was not and was run over by two of her tires.”

  • Walter Turcios, a neighbor who lives in the same apartment complex, witnessed the incident.

    Turcios said he was saddened by what happened and had already seen signs of neglect.

    "I felt bad, because those parents, they were never there. They were kind of negligent. (The kids were) always out here without supervision," he told ABC 13.

  • Stagg had two children taken away from her in the past.

    CPS confirmed to ABC13 that two of Stagg's older children were removed from her and placed with a relative in 2013. She then had three more children. 

    After Renfro’s death, the other two children -- who were seen in the video -- were placed with relatives as well.

  • If convicted, Stagg could be sentenced from two to 10 years in prison.

    Stagg’s bail was set at $1,500 and she was released Friday after posting bond. Prosecutors had requested that her bail be set at $50,000. 

    The district attorney’s office feels strongly that Stagg was playing a dangerous game that resulted in her son’s death.

    "Every parent has an obligation to protect their children, even from themselves," said District Attorney Kim Ogg. "Cars aren't toys and playing chicken with your kids isn't a game."

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