Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Allen Norquay of Havre, born in 1979, was sentenced Friday in state District Court in Havre to 65 years in prison for the murder of Lloyd “Lucky’ Kvelstad. The sentence is 15 years more than the prosecution requested. “It begs the question what kind of species, what kind of animal, we are when we can inflict that kind of brutality on another human being,” District Judge Laurie McKinnon of Shelby said while pronouncing the sentence. McKinnon issued the 65-year sentence for Norquay’s conviction on the felony charge of deliberate homicide by accountability, ordering that he could not be paroled for the first 25 years of the sentence. She sentenced Norquay to 10 years for the felony offense of tampering wi th physical evidence, and ordered him to pay Kve l s tad’ s family $6,000 in rest i tut ion, the amount his family members had to borrow to pay for his funeral. The prosecution had asked for a sentence of 50 years in prison with no possibility of parole for 20 years. The defense had asked for a deferred imposition of sentence on the tampering with evidence charge Norquay was convicted of cleaning blood off of his shoes after he fled the scene when the body was found and 10 years for the homicide charge. Defense attorney Vince Van Der Hagen told the judge more than that would be inappropriate while the jury had convicted Norquay of accountability, there was nothing to say exactly what he had done, Van Der Hagen said. Norquay was convicted of both charges after a seven-day trial in November. James Main Jr., who was convicted after a trial in February of a felony charge of deliberate homicide by accountability in the death of Kvelstad, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge E. Wayne Phillips on May 18. Melissa “Missy” Snow, in whose residence Kvelstad’s body was found, pleaded guilty to a charge of tampering with physical evidence for cleaning up blood in her residence. Snow is serving a three-year s ent enc e wi th the Montana Department of Corrections with the last year suspended for the offense. Kvelstad’s body, beaten beyond recognition with his trousers pulled down around his ankles and the drawstring from Norquay’s hooded sweatshirt tied tightly around his neck, was found about 1 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2006, following a party in Snow’s house the day af ter Thanksgiving. During the four-hour sentencing hearing Friday, eight of Norquay’s relatives testified that he is a kind, helpful man, who has an alcohol problem. Norquay’s mother, Mary White Cow, said her family also is going through dealing with the fact of Kvelstad’s death and Norquay’s charge and conviction every day. She said her family sends its condolences to Kvelstad’s family. “We are not a heartless group,” White Cow said. “Whether it’s received or not, we send it to you in Jesus’s name.” Norquay’s family members repeatedly said he is not a violent man, despite making threats and “acting tough” when he is drinking. They characterized him as a man who would help anyone. Prosecuting attorney Dan Guzynski of the state attorney general’s office said that was not how Norquay acted the night of Kvelstad’s death he certainly did nothing to help the victim, Guzynski said. Guzynski said part of the reason he asked for a 50-year sentence, with no parole for 20 years, was that the state could not prove exactly what Norquay had done there was no way to give a play-by-play description, he said. Kvelstad’s sister, Joyce Metcalf, testified on behalf of her family at the sentencing hearing. She said the rest of her family has been unable to come to the trials and hearings her two brothers came to Havre in November, but could not get themselves to walk up to the courthouse, she said. She said her brother’s death has devastated her family, and the family will never recover. All of her family members wrote letters to McKinnon asking for a sentence of life without parole. She said what had surprised her most hearing the testimony in the trials was the vicious nature of the beating that led to her brother’s death. “The brutality that was involved in this How terrible and cruel this was,” Metcalf said. “It was inhumane.” She said her brother, whom she has described as a carefree, happy-go-lucky person, wouldn’t stay in the same place for long. He would hit the road and travel for a while, although returning regularly to North Dakota to visit his mother, his siblings and his two children and their mother. Metcalf said that although she didn’t agree with how her brother lived, it was his choice and did not diminish the love his family had for Kvelstad. “We didn’t always see eye-toeye on things,” she said. “I didn’t agree with his lifestyle. “We miss him,” Metcalf added.