Man charged after allegedly breaking infant’s ribs two years ago
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IDAHO FALLS — After a lengthy investigation, police say an Idaho Falls man admitted to abusing a one-year-old foster child in 2018.
Investigators were suspicious after 35-year-old Alan Duane Vickery and his wife took the infant to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center on May 7, 2018. According to an affidavit of probable cause, doctors uncovered five broken ribs not seen during previous hospital visits.
The next day, Idaho Falls Police Department detectives were called in as Child Protective Services took custody of the infant and his two other siblings under the care of the Vickerys since December 2017. All three children have a history of health problems.
On Dec. 18, 2017, the infant was taken to EIRMC and x-rays showed no rib fractures. An additional trip to the hospital on March 7, 2018, also showed no fractures on the baby’s ribs.
Vickery’s wife told police the three kids were the first foster children the couple had. Vickery’s wife explained the infant’s health struggles and was shocked to learn about the child’s injuries. She explained that for about a week in March 2018, the baby always wanted to be held and attributed that to teething.
Investigators spoke with Vickery, who reportedly said he could not have been the one who injured the child as the birth parents “get frustrated.” However, when investigators spoke with CPS, the birth parents were never alone with the children.
Vickery and his wife took polygraphs towards the end of May 2018. Unlike his wife, the probable cause states Vickery failed and ended up confessing to how he hurt the child in March 2018.
He said he has anxiety and watched the children while his wife was gone. The baby started to vomit after Vickery said he fed him a bottle of milk. Vickery said he started to get frustrated and took a “time out” for himself, leaving the baby on the bed.
Things then escalated and Vickery said all he remembers was picking the baby up and undoing the snaps on his outfit while holding him around the chest under the baby’s arms. Vickery said he remembers grunting and then recalls sitting on the toilet a short time later with the infant in the other room. Vickery said he went back to the bedroom where the child was and discovered thumbprints on the boy’s chest.
Vickery went on to explain he has a long history of blacking out but did not remember anything as extreme as the March 2018 incident, according to court documents.
“Alan said that he was really sorry,” a detective wrote in the probable cause.
Police requested that charges be filed in June 2018, officials said, but Vickery was not charged until Oct. 29 of this year.
“The reviewing prosecutor and the detective on the case had some miscommunications regarding requested follow up,” Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney H. Alayne Bean told EastIdahoNews.com. “When IFPD brought the case to our attention in October 2020, our office promptly filed the case.”
When prosecutors charged Vickery with felony injury to a child this year, a summons to appear in court was issued. Vickery failed to show up to court on Nov. 13. Magistrate Judge Kent Gauchay ordered Vickery be arrested and released to pre-trial services after booking. Vickery was arrested on Wednesday before being released.
Vickery engaged in a legal battle with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare after the government agency placed him on the Child Protection Central Registry. A judge dismissed the case and Vickery appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. On Oct. 27, two days before criminal charges were filed, the State’s highest court issued an unpublished opinion in the case.
A preliminary hearing for Vickery is scheduled for Dec. 15 at the Bonneville County Courthouse. If convicted, Vickery could be ordered to spend up to 10 years in prison.
While Vickery is charged with a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.