A Havre man pleaded not guilty this morning to charges he strangled his girlfriend to death in Havre March 23.
Jordan Lee Carlson, born in 1988, pleaded not guilty this morning to a charge of deliberate homicide in the death of Dawn Beeman.
State District Judge Dan Boucher this morning set the next hearing, in which trial dates usually are established, for May 19.
Carlson was being held in the Hill County jail this morning on $250,000 bond on the murder charge and without bond on a charge of parole violation.
The murder charge first was filed in City Court March 26, then filed Tuesday in state District Court. Charges often are first filed in City or Justice court, but felony charges must be transferred to District Court.
According to a charging document, Jordan Carlson's brother Dustan Carlson called 911 March 23 requesting officers and emergency medical technicians go to Jordan Carlson's residence on the 600 Block of 1st Avenue because Jordan Carlson had called and said he had just killed his girlfriend.
An officer who arrived found a woman, later identified as Beeman, on the couch. The officer could not find a pulse. EMTs later confirmed the woman was dead, the document says.
Carlson told the officer he and Beeman had been listening to country music, which made him depressed. He and Beeman argued, and he decided to go to the store, the document says.
When he returned, she would not talk to him and when she got up and he asked her if she was leaving, he then strangled her, Carlson told the officer.
When he was interviewed in the Havre Police Department, Carlson told officers that "he was not a well person and he had a history of having problems when he is not on his medications," the document says.
He told the officer when he is not taking his medications he does not remember doing things, including shooting himself in the head in 2006.
Carlson pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges of arson and criminal endangerment for using lighter fluid Jan. 23, 2009, to start a couch in his residence on fire, which spread to the entire residence. He warned people in the four-apartment building on the 500 Block of 8th Street that the fire had gotten out of control. Police found residents, including infants and children, outside while the apartment was engulfed in flames.
He was sentenced to seven years in the custody of the state Department of Public Health of Human Services on each of the felony charges of criminal endangerment and arson, and ordered to pay $245,000 in restitution.
DPHHS transferred Carlson from the Montana State Hospital to the Montana State Prison in May 2010, saying in its notice that he did not require a further level of hospital care and the prison would better meet his custody, care and treatment needs.
Sept. 17, 2013, the prison issued a notice that Carlson had been paroled to Havre.