Judge rejects plea agreement in shooting death


    Booking shot of James William Quen. Photo: Flathead Co. Sheriff's Office

    A northwestern Montana judge rejected a plea agreement that recommended a 10-year suspended sentence in a fatal shooting.

    James William Quen of Martin City agreed to plead guilty to negligent homicide in the April 25 death of 33-year-old Bradley Allen Winters in exchange for the suspended sentence. However, District Judge Heidi Ulbricht of Kalispell rejected the sentencing recommendation Friday.

    The Daily Inter Lake reports Ulbricht questioned Quen's criminal history as well as several allegations that didn't result in criminal charges.

    Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner said a plea deal could still be negotiated. Quen's deliberate homicide trial is set for Jan. 7.

    Court records say there had been an altercation over money and clothing inside Winters' residence in Hungry Horse and at some point Quen fired a gun, hitting Winters in the chest.

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