Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Jury finds Kalispell man guilty of killing wife

by Daily Inter Lake
| January 17, 2022 11:00 AM

After hearing two weeks of evidence and testimony, a jury on Friday evening found a Kalispell man guilty of killing his wife in 2020.

Bradley Jay Hillious, 35, was charged with deliberate homicide. His trial in front of Flathead County District Court Judge Robert Allison began Jan. 3.

The jury of 14 deliberated for about six hours Friday before returning to the courtroom to deliver the unanimous guilty verdict just after 8 p.m.

Hillious was remanded to the custody of the sheriff’s office and now awaits his sentencing, set for March 8 at 1:30 p.m. He faces a maximum term of 100 years in the Montana State Prison.

According to charging documents, Hillious beat and strangled his wife, Amanda, before throwing her down a flight of stairs during a fight inside their home on Dec. 15, 2020. Amanda Hillious, a mother of four, died four days later. On Dec. 22, a Montana State Crime Lab pathologist determined Amanda died of blunt force injuries associated with neck compression.

Hillious posted bail in November 2021 after spending nearly a year in the county detention center.

Hillious never testified at the trial, and the defense witness list included just three individuals. Meanwhile, the prosecution witness list included 40 individuals.

The jury was also presented with extensive evidence items over the course of the two weeks, including photographs of Amanda's injuries, text messages between Bradley and Amanda, body camera footage from law enforcement and the 911 call made on the day of the murder.

Hillious was represented by attorneys Jami L. Rebsom and Suzanne Marshall.

The state was represented by prosecution attorney Travis R. Ahner, along with deputy county attorney John Donovan, and Richard Schuster also representing the state.

AN INVESTIGATION by sheriff's deputies began Dec. 15, 2020 when they answered a 911 call. When deputies arrived, Bradley Hillious' father, Scott, directed them inside the home where Amanda was lying on the floor.

Bradley Hillious reportedly was attempting to render aid to her. He said he heard someone scream, came out of his room and saw her lying at the bottom of the stairs, according to court documents.

Amanda Hillious was taken to the hospital. When detectives spoke to the emergency room physician, he said she had several injuries, including a cut on her head, a lacerated liver and broken ribs.

Detectives spoke to Bradley Hillious, who said that after hearing the scream, he got dressed and saw his wife at the bottom of the stairs. He said he took his 3-year-old daughter into his bedroom and turned on a tablet for her because he "didn't want her to see whatever was down there."

He said he began performing CPR on his wife.

He also allegedly said he and Amanda had marital problems earlier in the year, but they decided to reconcile.

Other court documents indicate Amanda Hillious requested a protection order on April 17, 2020 against Bradley and Scott, her father-in-law. The order was granted April 27 and dismissed May 7 when both Bradley and Amanda agreed to reconcile.

ON DEC. 17, 2020, forensic interviews were conducted with two of Amanda Hillious' children.

One of her sons said she woke him on Dec. 15 to get ready for school. He said he was eating breakfast and could hear his mother and father arguing in their bedroom. He said his father dragged his mother off the couch and hit her with an open hand and a closed fist. The boy said his father told him to go to his room and the boy said he heard his father take his mother downstairs.

The boy also said he heard his mother tell his father to stop hitting her and he heard her scream, "Call 911." He also said he heard her coming up the steps, but then it sounded as if she had fallen.

Another one of Amanda's sons said he heard his mother scream, "Stop, Brad."

According to the charging document, on Dec. 24, 2020, a detective called Bradley Hillious and asked if he and his father could come in for an interview. Hillious allegedly said he wanted to speak with a lawyer and would call back later.

Later that day, Bradley Hillious called 911 and reported his father, Scott, had killed himself.