Ex South Dakota Mayor, Cop Shot 3 Men to Death in Town He Once Served: Report

jay ostrem

Mugshot Jay Ostrem.

Jay Ostrem is a former mayor of Centerville, South Dakota, and ex law enforcement officer who is accused of shooting three men to death in the town that he once served, according to the state’s attorney general and Argus Leader.

The attorney general did not name the suspect but gave details. The Argus Leader named him as Ostrem.

When arrested, the former mayor and police officer/sheriff’s investigator had a .380 handgun and an AR-style rifle in his possession, reported the Argus Leader, which said the shooting occurred at a Centerville home.

In a May 28 news release, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that “a 64-year-old Centerville man has been charged with three counts of First Degree Murder in connection with the shooting deaths of three people Monday night in Centerville.”

He named him Ostrem. Authorities did not release the victims’ identities. However, the Argus Leader reported that court documents identified the victims as Paul Frankus, 26, Zach Frankus, 21, and Timothy Richmond, 35.

The Argus Leader reported that, according to 911 documents, Zach Frankus called police at 9:44 p.m., saying there had been a shooting at a Centerville home. He told police his brother “had been shot and killed by a man with a shotgun, adding that the shooter had returned to his home,” the outlet reported, adding that Frankus then said he had been shot as well and “eventually stopped speaking.”

Jay Ostrem Was Upset When His Wife Told Him 1 of the Men Tried to Kiss Her & Exposed Himself, Reports Say

jay ostrem

MugshotJay Ostrem.

According to the Argus Leader, Ostrem’s wife told authorities that, on May 23, she and Paul Frankus were drinking together “when he forcibly kissed her and exposed his genitals to her.”

She told Ostrem about it on May 27, which led to him “raging out of the house,” the newspaper reported.

“Jay Ostrem is being held on a $1 million cash only bond in the Minnehaha County Jail,” Jackley’s release says.

“Names of the three victims have not yet been released pending notification of next of kin. The incident was reported near 10 p.m. Monday night at a residence in Centerville,” it says.

“Jay Ostrem has been arrested and charged with three counts of First Degree Murder, and law enforcement has secured the scene,” said Attorney General Jackley, in the release. “There is no further threat to the public.”

South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation “is leading the investigation. Other agencies involved are the Centerville Police Department, South Dakota Highway Patrol, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Beresford Police Department, Viborg Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, and Turner County Sheriff’s Department,” the release says.

Jay Ostrem Was Accused of Sexual Harassment by the Former Police Chief

According to NBC News, Ostrem served as Centerville’s mayor from 2009 to 2011, when he resigned.

Ostrem was accused of sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit filed against the ex mayor and the city in 2010, NBC News reported. The lawsuit, filed by the city’s former Police Chief Rachel Kopman according to the Argus Leader, accused Ostrem of making “gender-based comments … which were unwelcome and degrading,” NBC News reported.

The suit accused Ostrem of making comments about menstruation and “women’s inability to be as successful as men,” NBC News reported.

According to the Argus Leader, the lawsuit was settled. That outlet reported that Ostrem also was a law enforcement officer for multiple agencies, including working as a sheriff’s investigator and police officer in Centerville.