Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

Russel Lindstrom

TYLER (KYTX) -- Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.

Lindstrom's 4-year-old daughter Bella died after being in a hot car on the family property for an unknown amount of time on June 11. Bella's sister Zoey was also in the car an survived.

Lindstrom's bond was originally set at $200,000. Lindstrom's common law wife, Michelle Moist, said it was an amount the family couldn't afford. She said she needed Lindstrom back home to help care for Zoey given that she had been unable to secure child are and continue college classes after Bella's death prompted CPS intervention.

A Smith County detective testified to the contents of a report indicating that Bella's death was an "accident" and that Lindstrom had no illegal substances in his system that day.

There had originally been speculation that Lindstrom may have been high on marijuana at the time of Bella's death.

As of Friday the state had 45 days left to make an indictment against Lindstrom. Past that timeframe Lindstrom would have to be released in the absence of an indictment.

Lindstrom's attorney presented a neighbor of Lindstrom's who indicated he would allow the man to live with him for the duration of the case. The attorney argued that Lindstrom should have his bond lowered so that he had a chance of release.

Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wood argued that the Lindstrom had few ties to the community and was a flight risk.

Judge Kerry Russell ultimately lowered Lindstrom's bond to $125,000 which represented a compromise between the state's hard line and the defense's request for total bond of $25,000.

Lindstrom remains in the custody of the Smith County Jail.

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