Three individuals have now been charged following the hit-and-run incident that left an Onamia man, Chey Amos Garbow, 20, dead on Dec. 9, 2020. Vehicle debris at the scene eventually led to the identification of driver Gabrielle Madison Jellum, 18, of Winsted, Maximus Kane Peebles, 18, of Sauk Rapids, and Gabriel Levi Chips, 25, of Brainerd. Peebles was present in the car at the time of the accident, and both Chips and Peebles assisted in hiding Jellum’s vehicle, following the accident.
According to the complaints:
On December 9, Mille Lacs Tribal Police were dispatched to the scene of the hit-and-run on Virgo Road where they found debris consistent with a motor vehicle accident and Garbow deceased in a ditch nearby. Medical examiners determined Garbow’s cause of death to be blunt force injuries sustained during the vehicle collision.
In an investigation conducted by Mille Lacs tribal police, multiple witnesses who had been in two other vehicles on the roadway at the time reported seeing a fast-moving vehicle in the southbound lane swerve into the northbound lane to avoid hitting Garbow. The brake lights of the vehicle let up briefly before continuing southbound, according to the witness testimony. These witnesses then went home and immediately called 911.
A witness at the scene stated he and Garbow, both intoxicated, had been walking down Virgo Road at the time of the incident. He had gone to the ditch when he saw the southbound vehicle approaching, but Garbow had remained on the roadway. The vehicle came to stop, and the witness heard a female voice shout, “Oh my god,” before the vehicle continued away from the scene.
Debris at the scene was connected to a 2019 silver Jeep Compass, owned by Jellum. Officers went to the Onamia residence where Jellum is known to reside, but the Jeep was not present. Instead, there was a vehicle associated with Chips, who also lived at the residence.
Reviewing video surveillance footage from a neighboring property, officers observed Jellum’s Jeep arriving at her residence following the hit-and-run on Dec. 9. The footage showed that the Jeep’s headlights were asymmetrical, and one appears to be damaged or non-functional. The vehicle was parked behind a camper in the backyard, and at multiple points, individuals exited the residence to examine the vehicle with flashlights. Chips’ vehicle later left the property and returned an hour later. Then, multiple individuals left the property in both Jellum and Chips’ vehicles. Both cars could be seen traveling close together on Hwy. 169 in security footage from the Grand Casino. Approximately two hours later, only Chips’ vehicle returned.
On Dec. 16, Jellum was located by law enforcement at Peebles’ residence in Sauk Rapids, and she initially denied involvement in the accident or having driven on Virgo Road on Dec. 9. Eventually, she admitted to the collision, stating there had been multiple headlights in the area at the time. She stated she had unsuccessfully attempted to stop or swerve, and Garbow did not move. Following the collision, Jellum said she panicked, not wanting to go to prison. She then went to her mother’s house, where she said Peebles had been at the time of the accident. She said her mother was the only passenger at the time.
Peebles stated that he had been at Jellum’s mother’s house, and he and Chips had examined the Jeep multiple times after it had arrived at Jellum’s mother’s house. Peebles further acknowledged helping hide the vehicle following the accident, stating it was at the home of a family acquaintance and providing contact information. Through this acquaintance, law enforcement located the Jeep Compass in a rural area near Motley, Minn. It had both front-right and windshield damage. Through investigation, officers learned that Peebles had moved the vehicle from his property with the help of two acquaintances in a car-hauling trailer on Dec. 11, and Jellum had been present at the time.
On or about Dec. 31, officers spoke with Jellum’s mother. She indicated that she and Peebles had been in Jellum’s car at the time of the accident. Prior to the accident, she had advised her daughter to slow down. Both Peebles and Jellum had exited the vehicle and observed Garbow, who they believed to be dead. They left the scene and headed to Jellum’s mother’s house; Jellum had been scared, refusing to call police.
Jellum has been charged with one felony count of criminal vehicular homicide, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or $20,000 fine. Jellum has the following open cases: misdemeanor obstruction of legal process, misdemeanor underage consumption, two counts of petty misdemeanor speeding, petty misdemeanor possession of a small amount of marijauna, and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Subdivisions 1 and 6 of Minnesota Statute 169.09 impose a duty on any motorist who knows they have struck a person to stay at the scene and report the accident – even if the accident is the fault of the victim. The complaint’s statement of probable cause indicates the effects of Jellum’s driving the motor vehicle caused it to collide with Garbow, irrespective of the victim’s behavior.
Chips and Peebles have both been charged with one felony count of aiding an offender to avoid arrest, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three years and/or a $5,000 fine.