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Dixon murder suspect pleads not guilty

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DIXON — Nathan Calvert,  the man prosecutors say attacked Dixon residents Doug and Cheryl Morigeau during a horrific home invasion Dec. 6, pleaded not guilty to several charges last week in Sanders County District Court. 

Doug was killed in the attack, having been stabbed 54 times and beaten with the butt of a .22-caliber rifle. 

Cheryl was severely injured but survived.

According to court documents, Calvert appeared in person with public defender Steven Eschenbacher. County Attorney Bob Zimmerman said the state will not pursue the death penalty, and Calvert entered a plea of not guilty.

As a mental health evaluation has not been conducted, the omnibus hearing was continued and will resume April 16 at 10 a.m. Warm Springs will conduct the mental health evaluation sometime in March. 

According to court documents, Calvert was under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs when he attacked the Morigeaus. 

Flathead Tribal Police, Lake County Sheriff's Deputies, a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper and Sanders County Sheriff's Deputies, along with Sheriff Tom Rummel, responded to a 911 call reporting a home invasion and stabbing at a residence on Highway 212 outside Dixon around 8 p.m. Dec. 6. 

Upon arrival, officers saw Calvert standing outside the Morigeau residence holding a pump-action .22 caliber rifle without a stock. 

When officers arrived, Calvert ran back into the Morigeau residence through the front door, exiting out the back. He was captured in a field not far from the home and had in his possession a sheathed and bloody hunting knife and the broken .22 caliber rifle.  

Once Calvert was in custody, officers entered the Morigeau home and found Doug's body near the front door. 

His wife Cheryl had also been stabbed and was transported by ambulance to a hospital and transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. According to Cheryl's interview with investigators, she and her husband had just eaten dinner and were watching television when they heard a noise on their porch. Doug opened the door, didn't see anything and started to close it when Calvert burst in and began fighting with Doug. 

Doug tried pushing the intruder out of the residence but was knocked down. Calvert got on top of him and began stabbing him. Cheryl asked Calvert what he wanted. According to the interview, at that point, Calvert got off Doug and went after Cheryl. 

He grabbed her with his left hand and cut her throat with his right. Seeing this, Doug stood and went after Calvert again, bringing all three to the ground. Cheryl ran out the back door, leaving it open for Doug to follow if he could best Calvert. 

Doug never came out. 

Cheryl ran across the street to her brother-in-law's house and called 911.

Once in custody, Calvert admitted to the crime during an interview with law enforcement. 

Both Morigeaus worked at Two Eagle River School in Pablo. The community held several benefits for Cheryl following the attack. 

Now, more than two months later, TERS Principal and Superintendent Dr. Michael Bundy said the students and employees are moving forward, together. 

“It's going to have lingering effects, because when you lose one of your staff members, it's a difficult time for a while,” Bndy said. “We miss our staff member.”

“Any organization, I don't care who you are, when someone has been here for a long time and then they're not here, whatever the tragedy, you miss them a lot. For us and our students, we're just trying to focus on what we have at hand and continue to move forward. That's all we can do.”

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