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Jay Ostrem – Former South Dakota Mayor, Deputy Charged With Killing 3 Men After His Wife Said One of Them Forcibly Kissed Her

A former South Dakota mayor and law enforcement officer has been charged with murder in the small town he once served. Jay Ostrem, 64, appeared in court Wednesday to face three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Paul Frankus, Zach Frankus, and Timothy Richmond on Monday night, the Argus Leader reported. Ostrem did not enter a plea and was ordered back to court for arraignment on June 20.

According to court documents, Zach Frankus called police at about 9:44 p.m. Monday and said that his brother had been shot and killed. He said that he had also been shot, and he stopped talking to the dispatcher a short time afterward.

Officers arrived on the scene and saw Ostrem leaving the home. He eventually obeyed commands to lie on the grand, and officers found him with blood on the left hand and smelling of alcohol. He had a .380 handgun, an AR-style rifle, spent shotgun shell casings, and a spent rifle casing on him.

Inside the home, the Frankus brothers and Richmond were dead.

Investigators said that Ostrem’s wife told them her husband went “raging out of the house” Monday night after she told him Paul Frankus had forcibly kissed her and exposed himself while they were out drinking several days earlier. She said Ostrem didn’t say where he was going and that he didn’t take any weapons with him, but admitted he may have had weapons in his vehicle.

Ostrem, originally from Wyoming, was a Turner County sheriff’s investigator in 2007 and a deputy in 2010. He was elected mayor of Centerville in 2009 but resigned two years later, NBC News said. Although city documents don’t say why he resigned, he was involved in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the city’s former chief of police, Rachel Kopman, who alleged she was “repeatedly inundated with sexually inappropriate comments and remarks from Ostrem,” the Leader reported.

The Leader said the two settled the lawsuit, but NBC News said it is ongoing. Ostrem is being held on a $1 million bond, the Mitchell Republic reported.