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Jay Ostrem

‘Went raging out of the house:’ Former mayor, ex-cop shot 3 men dead after learning one of them allegedly sexually assaulted his wife, cops say

Jay Ostrem, left, the former mayor of Centerville, South Dakota and ex-Turner County Sheriff deputy allegedly murdered three people in Centerville on May 27, 2024. (Mug shot: Turner County Jail; Screenshot: KELO/YouTube)

A former South Dakota mayor allegedly murdered three men on Monday night after his wife told him one of them sexually assaulted her days earlier.

Jay Edward Ostrem, 64, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Paul Frankus, 26, Zachary Frankus, 21, and Timothy Richmond, 35. It happened shortly before 10 p.m. in Centerville, about 40 miles south of Sioux Falls. According to a probable cause arrest affidavit obtained by Law&Crime, a “frantic” Zachary Frankus called 911 to report a shooting in the 1000 block of Main Street. After speaking with the dispatcher for a while, he reported that he had been shot and stopped talking shortly thereafter.

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    An officer with the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Conservation arrived at the home. As he was waiting for backup, he saw a man, later identified as Ostrem, walk out of the home’s garage. The officer told Ostrem to stop, but he kept walking, the affidavit said. Bosch drove up to Ostrem and again told him to stop and get on the ground. This time, Ostrem did as commanded and told cops he had a gun in his pocket, according to the affidavit.

    Cops reportedly found an AR-style rifle lying on the ground next to him, a .380 in his pants pocket and several shotgun and rifle shell casings on him. Ostrem also had blood on his hand and smelled of alcohol, the affidavit said.

    Officers entered the home and found three men dead from gunshot wounds.

    Ostrem lives down the street, and detectives went to the home to interview his wife. She told agents with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation that on May 23, she and Paul Frankus were drinking at her home while her husband was asleep. She alleged that Paul Frankus forcibly kissed her, exposed himself and ground against her clothing and back, the affidavit said.

    According to her, when she told her husband this on Monday evening, Ostrem “got up and went raging out of the house,” the affidavit said. She denied knowing what her husband was going to do or whether he was armed when he left the house, police said. She said she remained at the home until cops showed up at her door.

    Agents later learned that the 911 caller, Zachary Frankus, had a brother named Paul. Their vehicles were parked out in front of the home and registered to that address.

    Cops took Ostrem to the Minnehaha County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

    The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office sent out a press release announcing Ostrem’s arrest.

    “There is no further threat to the public,” Attorney General Marty Jackley said.

    South Dakota Searchlight reported Ostrem was the mayor of Centerville and served as a Turner County sheriff’s deputy before that. As mayor, the city’s police chief sued him for sexual harassment by the female police chief in 2010. The lawsuit was settled two years later, according to the outlet. Ostrem was previously a cop in Wyoming before moving to the Turner County Sheriff’s Office in the early 2000s.

    Sioux Falls CBS affiliate reported Ostrem also was a Centerville city council member.

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    The post ‘Went raging out of the house:’ Former mayor, ex-cop shot 3 men dead after learning one of them allegedly sexually assaulted his wife, cops say first appeared on Law & Crime.