Vincent Leroy Garbe

Vincent Leroy Garbe

A Bozeman man accused of negligently killing his 7-month-old son is facing a new charge alleging he was drunk and fractured the baby’s neck in January.

Felony charges of negligent homicide and assault on a minor were filed against Vincent Leroy Garbe, 23, Thursday in Gallatin County District Court. He has been held at the Gallatin County jail on $50,000 bail since Aug. 1.

Garbe is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday before District Judge Holly Brown.

In January, a Bozeman detective spoke with Breeana Pritchard, the boy’s mother and Garbe’s girlfriend, at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, according to charging documents. Pritchard told police she was showering when Garbe ran into the bathroom and said he was holding the baby and he fell on top of him.

The next morning, Garbe went to the Law and Justice Center to speak with the detective.

Police said in charging documents that Garbe admitted drinking while he was taking care of the boy and that he didn’t mean to hurt the baby. He also admitted that he shouldn’t have been drinking while taking care of the infant.

A medical examination showed that the baby’s neck was fractured. A note from the doctor said the story provided “would not explain this type of injury.”

Earlier this month, a Bozeman detective responded to Saxon Way for a report of an unconscious 7-month-old child who was not breathing, according to charging documents. Garbe reported the boy was lying face down in a crib with “something” covering his face.

Police said Garbe called 911 five minutes after he found the baby unconscious in the crib. Garbe called a friend first, who advised him to call 911.

Garbe was found sitting next to the child. Police said in charging documents that he appeared upset and told an officer, “I’m not supposed to be around him because I have a previous CPS thing but I’m about to get him back.”

The baby was pronounced dead around 11:10 a.m., at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, police said. An autopsy report later showed the baby’s cause of death was undetermined, but that he likely died on his back sometime after 9 a.m.

Officers took Garbe to the Law and Justice Center to question him.

Garbe told officers about the January incident and that the baby was removed from his and Pritchard’s custody for about a month. The child was eventually returned to the parents, but Garbe said he wasn’t allowed to be unsupervised with the baby.

Garbe told officers that he took care of the child after his girlfriend left for work around 6 a.m. Monday to Friday. After Pritchard left for work on the day of the incident, Garbe said he smoked marijuana inside the garage before returning to the child in the crib in the bedroom.

Garbe fell back asleep and woke up around 9:30 a.m., looked at the child in the crib and went downstairs, according to charging documents. Around 10:10 a.m., he tried waking the child when he found the infant lying in an awkward position and not moving.

Garbe told police that he took the baby downstairs while on the phone with dispatchers and began CPR until police took over.

Asked if he thought marijuana might have altered his mental state, Garbe said, “I don’t know. I don’t want to say that, I don’t want to think that, but I mean it’s possible.”

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.


Freddy Monares covers politics and county government for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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