A Kalispell man accused of killing his wife after first claiming she fell down a staircase on December 15, 2020 is currently on trial in Flathead County District Court, with lawyers on both sides concluding a long jury selection process on January 1. 3.
The 14-member jury, which includes two alternates, heard opening statements from prosecutors in the case against Bradley Jay Hillious, who pleaded not guilty to a single count of manslaughter. Judge Robert Allison presides over the trial.
Flathead County Assistant District Attorney John Donovan said the serious injuries sustained by Hillious’ late wife Amanda Hillious on December 15, 2020 did not match the accidental trauma described by Bradley Hillious and his father, Scott Hillious, who both reported that she fell down a staircase.
When law enforcement arrived at Hillious’ home and began providing assistance, they found her unconscious with a laceration to her right ear and temple, but no evidence of the fatal degree of trauma. bluntness which, according to the accused, occurred.
“They say they don’t believe this woman’s injuries matched those of a woman falling down the stairs,” Donovan said. “It seems (to be) a different mechanism.”
According to Donovan, a neuropathologist said in an affidavit that the strangulation was the cause of death. Amanda Hilliou died in hospital four days after the Dec.15 incident. An autopsy later determined that she died of “blunt injuries associated with compression of the neck.”
“This injury that killed Amanda was not the result of blunt trauma to the head,” Donovan said. “Oxygenated blood was cut in Amanda’s brain and that’s what killed her.”
Donovan also referred to an incident in April 2020 when 911 dispatchers received a hang-up call from Amanda, who the prosecutor said likely called to report that she was being intimidated by her husband.
During the investigation, authorities interviewed Amanda’s eldest son from a previous relationship who was 10 years old at the time of the incident.
According to Donovan, the boy told authorities he observed a verbal altercation between his mother and the accused which escalated, turning physical when Bradley punched her. He went to his bedroom when he heard his mother walking up the stairs, then heard a loud bang, Donovan said.
The couple’s 6-year-old son also provided information to investigators, claiming to have heard his mother tell the accused to stop and observed a bleeding ear injury.
Bradley Hillious later admitted on the day of his arrest that he had been having an affair and he and Amanda had a physical altercation the morning she suffered the fatal injuries.
On December 24, 2020, Scott Hillious reportedly committed suicide after detectives requested a follow-up interview with Scott and Bradley.
Hillious reported the death to authorities and said his father walked up to him and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m not going to jail. I love you. ”Bradley Hillious was arrested later that day.
Opening defense statements will begin on Tuesday, January 4, with Livingston defense attorney Jami Rebsom representing Hillious.