Big Horn County man charged in death of foster child

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bridger Franklin Boyd

Bridger Franklin Boyd, a 34-year-old Big Horn County resident, was arrested Tuesday in Billings by the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force on felony charges in connection with the June 18 death of a girl just shy of 5 years old. Earlier that morning, the Big Horn County Attorney’s Office filed charging documents alleging Boyd committed deliberate homicide and aggravated assault. Boyd currently is being held at Yellowstone County on $1 million bond.

According to charging documents, Boyd and his wife presented the unresponsive girl to emergency medical care at the Big Horn County Memorial Hospital the morning of June 18. Notified by hospital staff, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office and local child protective social workers immediately opened an investigation into a suspected major assault involving the child victim.

The charging documents allege that Boyd admitted to County Undersheriff Michael Fuss that he slammed the child’s head against the wall and struck her with his fists while she was on the floor. Documents quote Boyd as stating the alleged assault occurred several days earlier at his residence along David Road near Busby. Boyd and his wife had several foster care children in their custody, including the victim in the present case – all of whom have been removed from the household and placed in secure alternatives.

“The precise circumstances leading to the tragic death of this young girl remain under investigation by the county sheriff, the state medical examiner, and the Department of Public Health and Human Services,” said County Attorney Jay Harris.

Boyd is being prosecuted under the felony murder rule, which provides that if the death of another human being occurs in the course of certain felonies, including aggravated assault, the defendant may be charged and convicted with deliberate homicide. Under Montana law, deliberate homicide is punishable by up to life in prison, the death penalty or up to 100 years in prison. Aggravated assault is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. No further public comment will be made at this time.

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