Ex-Mayor Charged in Triple Homicide

(RepublicanJournal.org) – The small city of Centerville, South Dakota, was rocked by the shooting deaths of three men on Monday, May 27, and a former mayor is accused of the crimes. Authorities arrested him just outside the scene of the shooting and he’s now in jail on three murder charges and a $1 million bond.

The incident occurred just before 10 p.m. on Memorial Day. Former Centerville Mayor Jay Ostrem’s wife said when she told him that one of the men she had been drinking with on May 23 forcibly kissed and exposed himself to her, he went “raging out of the house.” Just a few minutes later, three men — 26-year-old Paul Frankus, 21-year-old Zach Frankus, and 35-year-old Timothy Richmond — were dead.

Authorities caught Ostrem leaving the scene, though he initially refused to stop for them. According to arrest documents, reported by USA Today, the former mayor had two weapons and spent shell casings on him. He also had a bloody left hand and smelled of alcohol.

Ostrem has two decades of law enforcement experience, once serving as a Turner County Sheriff’s Office investigator and later as deputy. His prior time in office wasn’t without controversy. He was elected as Centerville’s mayor in 2009 but resigned just over two years later. According to NBC News, there was no reason listed on the documentation as to why he stepped down from the role. However, it may have had something to do with a lawsuit filed by the former chief of police, a woman, against both Ostrem and the city in 2010.

That lawsuit alleged that Ostrem engaged in misogyny and sexual harassment, including making remarks about women’s menstruation and how they would never measure up to the success of a man. She further noted that throughout her career, she had never received any reports against her nor was she subjected to any disciplinary actions until she filed complaints of discrimination. The suit is currently ongoing.

As for the murder case, Ostrem is said to be representing himself in the case.

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