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Mar 30, 2010 6:48 PM by Irina Cates

Stevensville woman charged in fatal 2008 hit-and-run in court

MISSOULA - The parents of the man hit and killed two years ago in East Missoula watched as the woman accused of killing their son stood before a judge for the first time.

23-year-old Katie Garding of Stevensville faces three felony charges including negligent homicide and tampering with evidence for killing 25-year-old Bronson Parsons.

Prosecutors say on January 1st 2008 Parsons and his friend walked along Highway 200 in East Missoula.

They say an SUV drove onto the shoulder of the road and hit Parsons from behind.

A witness contacted the Montana Highway Patrol after Garding brought her SUV to his house and said she hit a deer.

The witness also said Garding traded the car in shortly after the incident.

Troopers tracked down the repossessed SUV and found damage to the front of it.

They also matched markings on Parson's clothing to the SUV.

Garding is not in jail at this time, but she is being supervised by felony probation.

The judge also ordered her to be on daily alcohol monitoring.


There's been a big break in a fatal hit and run case from more than two years ago and a Stevensville woman now faces charges of negligent murder for hitting and killing a man in East Missoula.

Bronson Parsons, 25, died New Year's Day 2008 as he walked along Highway 200. Over two years later, Katie Garding faces three felony charges, including negligent homicide and tampering with evidence for hitting and killing Parsons.

Parsons and his friend were walking along Highway 200 in East Missoula on January 1, 2008 when prosecutors say that a SUV drove onto the shoulder of the road and hit Parsons from behind.

A witness contacted the Montana Highway Patrol after Garding brought her SUV to his house and said she hit a deer. The witness also said Garding traded the car in shortly after the accident.

Troopers tracked down the repossessed SUV and found the bumper taped on with duct tape and the headlight taped on with clear tape.

Two other people were in the car at the time of the accident arguing about a handgun and the passenger in the front seat said as they were arguing he felt the SUV hit something.

When they asked what it was, Garding said she must have hit an animal. But MHP troopers and officials with the State Crime Lab were able to match markings on Parsons' clothing to the SUV.

Garding is scheduled to make her initial court appearance later this month.

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