Columbia Falls Man Accused of Killing Ex-wife with Vehicle Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges

Kenneth James Floyd, 38, entered the pleas in Flathead County District Court on April 11 after new charges were filed last month

By Maggie Dresser
Kenneth James Floyd appears in Flathead County District Court in Kalispell on April 11, 2024. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A 38-year-old Columbia Falls man who pleaded not guilty last November to a felony count of negligent homicide after he fatally ran over his ex-wife in Martin City entered two additional not guilty pleas after new charges were filed.

Kenneth James Floyd at an April 11 arraignment hearing pleaded not guilty to a second felony count of leaving the scene of a vehicle accident involving serious bodily injury or death to another person and a third felony count of tampering with physical evidence.

Floyd entered the pleas in Flathead County District Court before Judge Dan Wilson. He is scheduled to stand trial on July 22.

Montana Department of Justice Assistant Attorneys General Eric Kitzmiller and Edward Hirsch, who are serving as special deputy county attorneys in the case, appeared at the hearing via Zoom.

The state attorneys in February took over Floyd’s case after Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner requested help due to a high volume of caseloads at his office.

Camisha Sawtelle stepped in for Floyd’s Livingston-based attorney Jami Rebsom, who was not in attendance at the hearing.

At a December 2024 hearing, Judge Wilson granted Floyd’s release from the Flathead County Detention Center on his own recognizance, eliminating the $100,000 bond after Rebsom argued he was not a flight risk and he cooperated with authorities.

At a previous hearing the month before, Judge Heidi Ulbricht denied the defendant’s bail-reduction motion. Following the denial, Rebsom filed a motion to substitute district court judges and Ulbricht was replaced by Judge Wilson.

According to the affidavit in support of amended information filed on March 26 by Kitzmiller, Christopher Gilham on June 18 at 1 a.m. reported to law enforcement that Floyd ran over his wife Kimberly Gilham with a vehicle near their residence in Martin City.

When Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies and emergency medical providers responded to the scene in the alley, they found Kimberly on the ground complaining of pain and difficulty breathing. She was bleeding with a compound fracture to her leg and bone was protruding from her pants.

Medical personnel transported Kimberly to Logan Health where she died shortly after arriving due to her injuries, records state.

The deputy coroner noticed the victim had automotive grease on her hands, numerous abrasions and lacerations on her body and an open fracture on her right leg.

During an interview with law enforcement, Christopher said he had just returned home from work when he saw Floyd’s truck parked in the alley facing east behind the residence with Floyd in the driver’s seat and Kimberly in the passenger seat, according to charging documents. The pair was previously married.

According to documents, Christopher told authorities he parked his vehicle in the alley facing west. He then yelled at Floyd for being at the residence and he said Kimberly got out and walked in front of the truck when Floyd began driving forward, running over the victim. He did not stop and continued to flee the area without returning.

After Floyd left the scene, Christopher called him using Kimberly’s phone. During their conversation, Floyd told Christopher he “would turn himself in tomorrow” and he did not return to the alley.

Law enforcement failed to find Floyd or his vehicle when they arrived at the scene and, after reviewing video surveillance footage from the Martin City Fire Department near the residence, they observed a silver four-door truck matching the description of Floyd’s vehicle driving east.

During an interview with law enforcement the following day on June 18, Floyd said he had bought some alcohol the night before and parked his truck, which he confirmed was facing east, behind the Gilham residence. Kimberly voluntarily got in his vehicle to talk and drink with him.

Floyd told detectives he was “pretty buzzed” when Christopher arrived and parked his vehicle in front of Floyd’s truck. He then began hitting the driver’s side of the window and yelled, at which point Floyd told Kimberly to get out of the truck.

Floyd said he backed up out of the alley and left the area. When detectives informed Floyd there was video footage of his truck traveling east and not backing out of the alley, he said he traveled east out of the alley.

According to Floyd, he bumped into Christopher’s vehicle with his truck as he was leaving and said Kimberly was standing when he drove away. Floyd confirmed that Christopher called him and told him he had hit the victim.