Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
Kim A. Norquay Jr. Of Havre, 28, has pleaded not guilty in state District Court in Havre to amended felony charges of deliberate homicide and tampering with physical evidence stemming from the November 2006 death of Lloyd Kvelstad in Havre. According to court documents, James Joseph Main Sr. And Kvelstad began arguing over the Thanksgiving weekend about Christopher Columbus and the American Indian Movement while at a party on Nov. 25, 2006, at the residence of Melissa “Missy” Snow. Officers responding to a report that a man was dead found Kvelstad’s body. An autopsy determined his death to be from blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation. A sweatshirt drawstring, believed to be from a sweatshirt Norquay had been wearing, and a lanyard with a discount card were found around his neck. Main was charged in December 2006 with deliberate homicide, including a charge that the death may have been racially motivated. The Hill County Attorney’s Office has filed a request to amend those charges to remove the racial motivation clause, which could have added two to 10 years to Main’s sentence if he were convicted. His trial by jury had been scheduled for Jan. 7, 2008. The Hill County Attorney’s Office originally charged Norquay in July with deliberate homicide by accountability and tampering with evidence, both felonies, and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a peace officer. It amended the charges last week, charging Norquay with deliberate homicide and tampering with physical evidence and removed the obstruction charge. Norquay pleaded not guilty Nov. 7, and a trial by jury was scheduled for May 12. Both deliberate homicide and deliberate homicide by accountability have penalties ranging from 10 years to 100 years in prison. Snow pleaded guilty on Oct. 1 in a plea agreement to a felony charge of tampering with physical evidence stemming from the incident. Her sentencing has been rescheduled to Jan. 8. In a plea agreement, the Hill County Attorney’s Office Is recommending a sentence of an 18-month deferred imposition of sentence. Under that recommendation, if she follows all conditions of her release, after her probationary period she could petition to have the charge struck from her record. When interviewed about the incident, Snow and Norquay gave contradictory statements that changed as interviews progressed, the court documents said. Snow originally said she knew nothing about a fight, and started cleaning blood from her residence after she came out of a back room and saw the blood. She later recanted, and said there had been a fight. Norquay originally said he had left and when he returned found the victim lying on the floor but didn't realize the victim was dead. He later said Main and Kvelstad had gotten into a fight and he had tried to stop them. He also first claimed he didn’t know how a drawstring from his sweatshirt had ended up around the victim’s neck, saying it might have been pulled out when he tried to stop the fight. He later said he had pulled the drawstring out himself and thrown it into a trash can, and didn't know how it had ended up around Kvelstad’s neck. An analysis of the victim’s clothes by the state crime lab showed impressions on the sleeve and back that could have matched Norquay’s shoes of “someone repeatedly lifting his foot and putting it down in the same vicinity as opposed to one footprint,” the documents said. It also found blood on Norquay’s shoes saturated with water, which is consistent with someone trying to wash the blood off, the documents stated.