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Montana man sentenced to 100 years for killing wife

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KALISPELL — A western Montana man has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for killing his wife in December 2020 by beating and strangling her and throwing her down a flight of stairs.

Bradley Jay Hillious, 35, was sentenced Tuesday for the death of Amanda Hillious, 33, after District Court Judge Robert Allison denied his request for a new trial, the Daily Inter Lake reports.

Amanda Hillious was fatally injured on Dec. 15, 2020 and died four days later.

Her mother, Michelle Wungluck, who is raising Amanda's four children, said she "wants those kids to grow up knowing they are safe and secure," and asked for the maximum sentence.

Hillious, who did not testify at trial, read a statement at sentencing in which he said his father, Scott Hillious was the "more likely suspect."

Scott Hillious killed himself on Dec, 24, 2020, after a detective called to ask Hillious and his father to come in for an interview.

Hillious was convicted on Jan. 14 after a trial in which Amanda's son from a previous relationship, now 12, testified that "Brad killed my mom." He told jurors he heard Bradley Hillious and his mother arguing before he saw him dragging and hitting her.

Defense attorney Jami Rebsom unsuccessfully sought a new trial, arguing prosecutors made improper comments during closing arguments and that evidence suggests a lesser charge of mitigated deliberate homicide should have been filed.

Allison said the defense didn't present any evidence at trial that Bradley Hillious should have been convicted of a lesser charge.

"It was an all-or-nothing approach," he said of the defense case.

Rebsom said she plans to appeal the conviction, saying she was not allowed to argue a case around the suicide of Scott Hillious, who was at the house when Amanda Hillious was fatally injured. She questioned how his suicide could "not be seen as a confession."

Allison said it was the defense counsel that was concerned about bringing up the suicide at trial, believing the state was going to argue that Bradley Hillious killed his father and "that there might be evidence along those lines presented."

Prosecutors were only allowed to refer to Scott's death "as his death or suicide, not his questionable death or possible murder," Allison said.

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