Former Mayor Charged in Shooting Case

Former Mayor Charged in Shooting Case

( – The city of Centerville, South Dakota, is relatively small, with just 1,000 residents calling it home. A deadly shooting took place on Memorial Day, killing three men. Police have arrested the city’s former mayor and charged him with the murders.

Police received a call to a Centerville home around 9:45 p.m. on Monday, May 27. One of the victims called 911 to report that someone had shot his brother. Later in the call, he noted the shooter had returned to the home and had also opened fire on him before he stopped speaking. When police arrived on the scene, they found three victims: 21-year-old Zach Frankus, 26-year-old Paul Frankus, and 35-year-old Timothy Richmond. They didn’t have to look far for the shooter, either.

Police spotted former Mayor Jay Ostrem, 64, leaving the scene. Although he initially refused to obey their orders to stop, he finally submitted and lay on the ground. Authorities recovered two guns, a rifle and a handgun, and collected spent shell casings from Ostrem. They noted in official documents, per USA Today, that he smelled like alcohol and was bleeding from his left hand.

The suspect has a long history in the town, having served its law enforcement department for more than 20 years and a brief stint as mayor. The constituents elected him in 2009, but he stepped down in 2011 following a harassment lawsuit.

Ostrem’s wife later spoke with authorities. She said she told her husband that while she was drinking with one of the victims, Paul Frankus, he harassed her. That sent Ostrem into a rage, and he stormed out of the home. Prosecutors have since charged him with three counts of murder, all felonies, carrying sentences of life in prison or death. A judge remanded him to Minnehaha County Jail without bond.

Ostrem made his first court appearance on Wednesday, May 29, where he acknowledged the charges against him and his rights. Initial reports said Ostrem was defending himself, but he has since applied for a court-appointed attorney.

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