A Flathead County District Court judge has agreed to release a 38-year-old Columbia Falls man charged with felony negligent homicide for allegedly killing his ex-wife by accidentally running her over with his vehicle outside a Martin City residence in June.
During a Dec. 7 bail-reduction hearing, Judge Dan Wilson granted Kenneth James Floyd’s release on his own recognizance, eliminating the $100,000 bond. At a previous hearing last month, Judge Heidi Ulbricht denied the defendant’s bail-reduction motion.
According to the conditions of his release, Floyd is required to reside at a Kalispell residence, must wear a GPS monitoring device, is prohibited from possessing firearms and cannot contact witnesses in the case. Wilson also granted Deputy Flathead County Attorney John Donovan’s request that the defendant refrains from drinking alcohol or entering bars, taverns and casinos.
“The court’s concern for the public safety largely will be addressed by the condition suggested by the defense that he’ll be subject, at his own expense prior to his release, to electronic monitoring to ensure his compliance with the elements of the bail order,” Judge Wilson said.
The defendant’s Livingston-based attorney, Jami Rebsom, argued that Floyd does not represent a flight risk because he has strong ties to the community, turned himself into police on Oct. 18 and has continued to cooperate with authorities.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Floyd is a danger to a person in this community or any other community,” Rebsom said. “At this time, considering Mr. Floyd’s circumstances financially, this bail is oppressive … Your honor, this is a charge of negligent homicide. It’s not an intentional act, he has not been charged in any kind of domestic violence situation. The coroner’s death report reports this as a cause of death based on accident.”
Donovan objected to the bail reduction, arguing that circumstances had not changed since Judge Ulbricht denied the motion in early November. He also referenced Floyd’s history of partner or family member assault and aggravated assault charges, and his temporary order of protection violations, which were dismissed.
“There’s concerns from the state regarding Mr. Floyd’s criminal history that there is violence towards women,” Donovan said. “There is a standing order of protection right now from Mr. Floyd’s current wife. The seriousness of this case gives the state concern if Mr. Floyd was released. The charges are serious – causing the death of another human being. The allegations are that Mr. Floyd and the deceased were in a car together drinking.”
According to charging documents, the victim’s husband, Christopher Gilham, reported the incident to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) at approximately 1 a.m. on June 18 and told law enforcement that Floyd ran over his wife, Kimberly Ann Gilham, with a vehicle in the alley between First Avenue North and Central Avenue in Martin City.
A deputy arrived to find the woman, later identified as Kimberly Gilham, lying in the alley with serious injuries to her legs and complaining of pain. Emergency responders transported her to Logan Health, where she later died, according to documents.
Christopher Gilham told law enforcement that when he returned home that evening, he found Floyd parked in the alley behind his house with the victim in the passenger seat. When Christopher Gilham “yelled” at Floyd for being at his residence, Kimberly Gilham exited Floyd’s vehicle and walked around to the front, records state. Floyd then put his four-door pickup truck into drive, ran over the victim and fled the scene, according to the charging documents.
After Floyd left the scene, Christopher Gilham contacted him using the victim’s phone, at which point Floyd said he would “turn himself in tomorrow,” records state.
The case was under investigation for months following the incident, with the Flathead County Attorney’s Office opting to file charges in October, at which point Floyd was arrested.
Floyd is scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 26, 2024, before Judge Wilson. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in the Montana State Prison and a $50,000 fine.
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