Martin City Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murder

James William Quen is expected to claim he shot Hungry Horse man in self-defense

By Justin Franz
James Quen has been accused of murdering a Hungry Horse man and appeard in Flathead County District Court on May 31, 2018. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

A 47-year-old Martin City man pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony deliberate homicide in Flathead County District Court on May 31.

James William Quen appeared at an arraignment before Judge Heidi Ulbricht, a month after he was arrested following the shooting death of 33-year-old Bradley Allen Winters. Quen is expected to stand trial in September.

If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

The arraignment came two days after Quen’s attorneys, public defenders Alisha Backus and Greg Rapkoch, filed a notice of affirmative defense informing the judge that they would argue Quen shot Winters in self-defense.

According to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry and court documents, deputies responded to the scene of a shooting in Hungry Horse at about 11:40 p.m. on April 25. When they arrived they found Winters dead from a single gunshot wound. The initial investigation revealed that there had been an altercation over money and clothing outside Winters’ home and at some point Quen reportedly took out a gun. Quen allegedly fired the gun multiple times, hitting Winters once in the chest.

Sheriff’s deputies apprehended Quen at his Martin City home about an hour after the shooting.

Quen remains incarcerated at the Flathead County Detention Center. He is expected to appear in court again on June 21 for a bail reduction hearing.

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