Former Mayor Charged In Triple Homicide

( – A former mayor in South Dakota is facing murder charges after the bodies of three victims were discovered.

Jay Edward Ostrem faces charges of first-degree murder for the slaying of three people. According to court documents from Tuesday, May 28, the victims were killed by the 64-year-old in a way suggesting a “premeditated design.”

In a statement from Attorney General Marty Jackley, law enforcement confirmed that the crime scene was secured and that Ostrem is in custody, facing three counts of first-degree murder. Jackley added that “no further threat to the public” exists related to the case.

The victims’ names were released the following day. They were identified as Timothy Richmond, 35; Paul Frankus, 26; and Zach Frankus, 21. The Memorial Day incident reportedly erupted between the former mayor and the three men over an alleged sexual assault against his wife.

The shooting reportedly took place at a Centerville residence on the 1000 block of Main Street around 10 PM. Law enforcement was contacted about the shooting by one of the victims, Zach Frankus, around 9:44 PM as the incident was ongoing. He told dispatchers at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office that a man wielding a shotgun fatally shot his brother and was returning to the scene. Shortly after, he informed the dispatchers that he was also just shot and eventually stopped speaking.

A witness told a local news station that he “heard about five rounds go off,” after which he began peeking out of his window and started to record. The witness saw people running and saw one of them surrender to police, which was most likely Ostrem, who was then arrested.

Ostrem is currently being held at the Minnehaha County jail on a bond of $1 million. A massive investigation is underway, headed by the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation in partnership with the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Beresford Police Department, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the Viborg Police Department, the Turner County Sheriff’s Department, the Centerville Police Department, and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.

Ostrem served as Centerville mayor in 2010 and previously served on the city council. He also has past legal troubles involving sexual harassment.

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