Mayor Accused of Triple Murder

( – A former South Dakota Mayor has been charged with three murders. Court documents reveal that 64-year-old Jay Edward Ostrem allegedly committed three premeditated murders at a private residence in Centerville on May 27. Attorney General Marty Jackley confirmed that Ostrem was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and reassured Centerville residents that there was no further public threat. Ostrem was detained on a $1 million cash-only bond at the Minnehaha County Jail.

The incident unfolded at around 10 pm when a 911 caller said a neighbor had shot him and a family member. When police arrived, they found an apparently intoxicated Mr. Ostrem leaving his house. An officer from the Game, Fish, and Parks Department ordered the suspect to the ground and discovered he was armed with a handgun, and there was an AR-15 rifle on the ground nearby.

Police then entered the residence from where the 911 call originated and found three dead bodies. Investigations disclosed that a female relative of Ostrem’s told him that a neighbor came to their home and sexually assaulted her. When she informed him about the incident, Mr. Ostrem reportedly became enraged and stormed out of his house.

South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation is examining the incident in partnership with other law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Ostrem was Mayor of Centerville from 2009 until 2011, having spent decades in law enforcement in South Dakota and Wyoming. He retired from the police department in Gillette, Wyoming, in 2003 after 21 years of service and moved to Turner County, South Dakota, a year later. He held positions on the Centerville City Council and Turner County Sheriff’s Department, serving in the latter organization from 2007 until 2014. Ostrem had previously settled a sexual harassment claim brought by Centerville’s female police chief.

Former colleagues have expressed shock at the murder charges. Frank Latta, who worked with Ostrem in Wyoming, said he was a professional law enforcement officer with good police skills and who exercised “restraint.”

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