Havre man pleads not guilty to murder, evidence tampering

Havre, Montana (AP) 11-07

A Havre man has pleaded not guilty to amended charges of murder and tampering with evidence stemming from the November 2006 death of a North Dakota transient.

Kim A. Norquay Jr., 28, entered his plea during November in District Court in Havre. His trial is scheduled for May 12.

According to court records, James J. Main Sr. and the victim, Lloyd C. Kvelstad, got into a fight about Christopher Columbus and the American Indian Movement while at a party Nov. 25, 2006, at the Havre home of Melissa Snow. Officers responding to a report of a death found Kvelstad’s body. An autopsy determined he was beaten and strangled to death.


A sweatshirt drawstring, believed to be Norquay’s, and a lanyard with a discount card were found around Kvelstad’s neck, court records said.

Court documents charging Main with murder in December 2006 included allegations that the death may have been racially motivated. However, the Hill County attorney’s office has filed a request to amend the charges to remove the racial motivation clause, which could have lengthened Main’s sentence. His trial was scheduled for Jan. 7.

Prosecutors originally charged Norquay with murder by accountability and evidence tampering, both felonies, and with misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer. They amended the charges recently, charging Norquay with murder and evidence tampering and removing the obstruction charge.

Snow pleaded guilty to felony evidence tampering Oct. 1 for cleaning up Kvelstad’s blood from her carpet. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending an 18-month deferred sentence. Snow’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8.

Court records say Snow and Norquay gave investigators contradictory statements that changed as interviews progressed.