3 charged in fatal hit-and-run in Mille Lacs County

Three people have been charged in connection to a fatal hit-and-run in Mille Lacs County last month.

Court records show 25-year-old Gabriel Levi Chips, 18-year-old Maximus Kane Peebles and 18-year-old Gabrielle Madison Jellum are charged in the fatal crash that killed 20-year-old Chey "C.J." Garbow Jr. Chips and Peebles are each charged with aiding an offender while Jellum is charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

Law enforcement was called to a hit-and-run in the 44000 block of Virgo Road in Onamia at about 1:19 a.m. on Dec. 9. There, Mille Lacs Tribal Police officers found debris on the road and Garbow already dead in the ditch.

A criminal complaint states multiple witnesses reported seeing a fast-traveling vehicle headed south hit a person who was walking near the centerline. The vehicle swerved briefly before braking and then continuing southbound.

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Another witness told investigators he and Garbow were intoxicated and walking on the road. While he went into the ditch when the vehicle approached, Garbow continued walking in the middle of the road, the complaint states. The witness said he heard a female voice scream "Oh my God," before the vehicle drove away.

Debris at the scene was connected to a 2018-2020 Jeep Compass, and police records indicated a 2019 Compass was registered to Jellum. The complaint states officers also found a Facebook post with Jellum posing with the vehicle. When officers went to Jellum’s home, the vehicle wasn’t there but a vehicle associated with Chips was parked there. Surveillance footage from a neighbor showed an SUV matching Jellum’s arrive at the home right after Garbow was struck, and its headlights were asymmetrical, as if one had been damaged. The footage showed the vehicle park and three people get out and examine the vehicle before going inside the home. It also showed them come back out and examine the SUV multiple times, later. Eventually, the SUV and Chips’ vehicle left and were seen traveling south on Highway 169. About two hours later, only Chips’ vehicle returned to the home.

Jellum was found at Peebles’ home on Dec. 16. While she initially denied her vehicle was involved in a collision or that she’d even been on Virgo Road on Dec. 9, the complaint states she eventually admitted to hitting Garbow, saying she’d tried to avoid him but there wasn’t enough time and space. When she saw him, she panicked and fled because she didn’t want to go to prison, she told investigators. Peebles later told authorities he helped move the SUV and took it to a property belonging to an acquaintance. Authorities later found the vehicle on the property near Motley.

Jellum’s arraignment is set for Feb. 2.