Alan Vickery

Alan Vickery

An Idaho Falls man has been charged with felony injury to a child more than two years after he reportedly broke an infant's ribs. 

According to the probable cause affidavit, Alan Duane Vickery, 35, admitted to harming the foster child after he failed a polygraph examination asking about the victim's injuries.

The affidavit states the victim and two other foster children were removed from Vickery and his wife's custody after the injuries were discovered.

Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alayne Bean said she was uncertain why the case took two years to be filed, saying the attorney who had been handling the case has since left the office. The case was filed in October.

The affidavit states Vickery took custody of the victim in December 2017, and that the broken ribs were discovered during a hospital visit in May 2018. The child had visited Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center twice before, in December 2017 and March 2018, due to preexisting health concerns. 

The Idaho Falls Police Department began investigating after a doctor noted the infant had five ribs that appeared to be healing. The report notes the victim had chest X-rays during his two previous visits, but that rib injuries in infants can sometimes go unnoticed until they start to heal. 

In an interview with police, Vickery's wife said she did not know how the injury happened. She told police that, besides herself and Vickery, other family members and medical personnel handled the baby during the span of a week. She said the victim had been particularly upset in March, but that he had been teething during that time. 

In a separate interview, Vickery told police the infant had not been especially frustrating and cried little. 

Both parents volunteered to undergo a polygraph examination. The results indicated Vickery's wife passed the exam, but Vickery failed before admitting to having squeezed the baby. 

Vickery told police he was alone watching the baby and other children in March 2018 when the baby vomited on him. He said he sometimes "blacks out" due to anxiety and frustration and that he has to remove himself from stressful situations. Vickery said he had taken medication to help with the anxiety. 

Vickery said he remembered grunting while holding the infant, then found himself in his home's bathroom. He went to check on the victim, who was crying, and found thumb prints on the child's chest. He said he monitored the baby for a few days to see if the injury was more serious, but did not notice any change. 

Vickery was charged with felony injury to a child, punishable with up to 10 years in prison. A summons was issued when the case was filed, but he failed to appear at an initial appearance on Nov. 13. He was arrested, then arraigned Monday and released to pretrial supervision. 

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in Bonneville District Court.