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Homicide charge dismissed against man who stabbed another with broken bottle
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Homicide charge dismissed against man who stabbed another with broken bottle

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Adriano Fowler

Adriano Fowler has been arrested in the stabbing death of Adrian Brian Goodbear.

A Billings man has pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon in connection to the stabbing death of Adrian Goodbear, who was 26 at the time, on Sept. 5 or 6, 2020, in downtown Billings.

Adriano Fowler changed his plea to guilty in front of Yellowstone County District Judge Michael Moses Tuesday afternoon as part of a plea agreement he reached with county attorneys. Fowler had originally been charged with deliberate homicide and assault with a weapon for causing the death. As part of the plea agreement the murder charge will be dismissed at sentencing.

Fowler had to compose himself after breaking down into tears as he admitted to the judge the details of the evening that led to Goodbear’s death. According to police and Fowler’s admission, the two men were drinking heavily and Goodbear had been driving Fowler around town. Fowler said that Goodbear had been driving erratically and even sideswiped a car.

Fowler told investigators that he told Goodbear to slow down and the two began to fight.

Then the two went to a fast food restaurant downtown and the argument escalated. Offended by Goodbear’s words, Fowler—who told police he was very drunk at this point—got out of the car, broke a bottle of rum the two had been drinking and then punched Goodbear in the arm while holding the bottle's fragmented remains.

Goodbear did not die immediately. After stabbing Goodbear with the bottle, Fowler began to walk away and Goodbear yelled at him to get in the car. Fowler said he did not comply, and Goodbear drove away. Police found Goodbear dead the next morning in a motel parking lot.

Death near Roadway Inn

Billings police investigate a man found dead in a car behind the Rodeway Inn at 1315 North 27th Street on Sep. 6, 2020.

Charging documents state that driving from the parking lot to the motel took Goodbear past two hospitals, but there was no indication he stopped to seek medical care at either one. An autopsy determined that the stab wound to the arm was the cause of Goodbear’s death.

The plea deal does not restrict the state from arguing for the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Sentencing will be set at a later date in front of Judge Moses.

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