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South Dakota Mayor who ‘murdered three men for flirting with his wife’ once ‘beat suspect so badly he lost his eye and caused another man’s death’

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A former cop turned mayor who has been charged in the killings of three people once beat a suspect so badly he lost his eye and was responsible for the death of another, according to two lawsuits. 

Jay Ostrem, 64, was jailed on $1 million cash-only bond on three counts of first degree murder following a shooting on Memorial Day. 

Ostrem had previously worked in law enforcement for more than two decades in Wyoming and South Dakota

While working for the police department in Gillette, Wyoming, Ostrem had two lawsuits filed against him concerning his use of force. 

In 2000 Patrick Wayne Dalby, who was the suspect in the robbery of a clothing store, filed a suit claiming unnecessary force. 

Dalby claimed that Ostrem hit him with the butt of a semi-automatic rifle which caused him to lose his left eye while arresting him in April 1999. 

Jay Ostrem, 64, was jailed on $1 million cash-only bond on three counts of first degree murder following a shooting on Memorial Day

Jay Ostrem, 64, was jailed on $1 million cash-only bond on three counts of first degree murder following a shooting on Memorial Day

Ostrem, seen here with his wife lise Victoria, had previously worked in law enforcement for more than two decades in Wyoming and South Dakota

Ostrem, seen here with his wife lise Victoria, had previously worked in law enforcement for more than two decades in Wyoming and South Dakota

His original complaint, seen by DailyMail.com, says that Ostrem struck him several times around the back, head, face and eye with the rifle and fired two shots. 

District Judge Clarence Brimmer went on to side with Ostrem, ruling that Ostrem had acted in an ‘objectively reasonable manner’. 

Dalby was sentenced to 15 to 35 years for robbery and two to five years for disarming a peace officer in April 2000. 

Another suit filed in 2001 by TaWaynda Owens claimed Ostrem used ‘unreasonable, unnecessary and unjustified’ force in the death of her husband Michael. 

TaWaynda had left her home in Gillette following an incident with her husband Michael in November 2001. 

After appearing at her sister’s home and explaining what happened, her sister called local police and explained she had been battered. 

While on the phone, Michael Owens, 40, appeared at the home with Ostrem being dispatched to the address. 

Alongside another officer, Ostrem then approached Owens with guns pointed at him and yelled ‘in a loud and aggressive manner’. 

The suit adds that after Owens started driving erratically Ostrem opened fire on him and unleashed ten shots. Owens died at the scene after being hit ten times.

While working for the police department in Gillette, Wyoming, Ostrem had two lawsuits filed against him concerning his use of force

While working for the police department in Gillette, Wyoming, Ostrem had two lawsuits filed against him concerning his use of force 

Jay Ostrem is pictured in 2009 when he worked as the Turner County Sheriff Investigator

Jay Ostrem, 64, is a former law enforcement officer and mayor of Centerville

Jay Ostrem is pictured in 2009 when he worked as the Turner County Sheriff Investigator

Owens claimed that Ostrem and the other officer had violated the rights of her husband to be free from ‘the unreasonable, unnecessary and unjustified use of excessive force in making an arrest’. 

Again, a judge dismissed the claims and Ostrem did not pay damages in either cases.

The Gillette News Record reported that in 1994 Ostrem shot and killed a suicidal gunman. 

Warren Thomas had apparently wounded himself with his own gun when Ostrem and another officer appeared at his home. 

When asked to drop a gun he was holding, Thomas raised a revolver at the other officer causing Ostrem to shoot him. 

Ostrem had been at Thomas’ home earlier in the day after a request to check on him was made. He left after Thomas promised him he would go to a hospital for help.  

On Thursday, Ostrem appeared in court before a judge in Clay County in relation with the shooting incident on Monday. 

The former Centerville Mayor’s murder charges are all three class A felonies and come with a minimum punishment of death or life in prison. 

On Thursday, Ostrem appeared in court before a judge in Clay County in relation with the shooting  on Monday

On Thursday, Ostrem appeared in court before a judge in Clay County in relation with the shooting  on Monday

Paul Frankus, 26

Zachary Frankus, 21

Paul Frankus, 26, left, and his 21-year-old brother Zach, right, were both shot dead on Monday

Officers visited the home where the call originated, above, and found all three victims

Officers visited the home where the call originated, above, and found all three victims

A probable cause affidavit identified the victims as two brothers Paul Frankus, 26, and his 21-year-old brother Zach and Timothy Richmond, 35.    

Zach Frankus, called police on Monday night to report that his brother had been shot by ‘a guy from across the street’ and that the shooter had gone back home.

Frankus was still on the phone with a dispatcher when he said that he had been shot, too. 

He was described as ‘frantic’. Frankus then stopped talking, charging documents state.

Authorities raced to the scene, where a Game Fish and Parks officer saw Ostrem leaving the home identified as the scene of the shooting.

Ostrem initially ignored commands to stop before laying down on the ground. He was arrested a short time later.

An AR-style rifle was on the ground near him, and he had a handgun in his pocket. Police noted how Ostrem was bleeding from his left hand and smelling of alcohol.

Authorities raced to the scene, where a Game Fish and Parks officer saw Ostrem leaving the home identified as the scene of the shooting

Authorities raced to the scene, where a Game Fish and Parks officer saw Ostrem leaving the home identified as the scene of the shooting

Officers then went to the home where the call originated and found all three victims.

Ostrem’s wife, who is British, told police that a neighbor, Paul Frankus had sexually assaulted her on Thursday, and she told Ostrem about the assault Monday night.

The pair had been drinking together when he forcibly kissed her, exposed his genitals and pressed himself against her, reports the Argus Leader.

She said Ostrem ‘got up and went raging out of the house,’ according to the document.

She explained to officers how her husband did not tell her where he was going and that he didn’t leave armed, although weapons were kept in the home and he likely had some in his car.

Ostrem is set to make his next appearance in court on June 20. 



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