A 34-year-old man who told deputies from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office that his wife fell down the stairs has been charged with killing her inside the home they shared with four young children.
Bradley Jay Hillious was arrested on Christmas Eve, five days after his 33-year-old wife, Amanda Hillious, died at a local hospital. He is being held on $750,000 bond. If convicted of deliberate homicide, Bradley Hillious could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
According to charging documents filed in Flathead County District Court, deputies were called to a home on Willow Glen Trail in south Kalispell on Dec. 15 and greeted by Scott Hillious, the victim’s father-in-law. He directed deputies inside where they found Bradley attempting to render aid to his unresponsive wife. Amanda was transported to the hospital where she died four days later.
Bradley Hillious told investigators he was in bed on the morning of Dec. 15 when he heard a scream and found Amanda at the bottom of the stairs. Bradley, Amanda, Scott and four children — a 1-, 3- and 5-year-old who are Amanda and Bradley’s and an 11-year-old who is Amanda’s — were at home when the incident occurred. Both Bradley and his father, Scott, told deputies they were in their respective bedrooms when they heard a commotion. At least one of the children told a different story, however, describing an argument between Amanda and Bradley, a violent beating and subsequent calls for help.
Amanda’s body was sent to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for an autopsy and on Dec. 22, three days after she died, her death was declared a homicide caused by “blunt force injuries associated with neck compression.” Doctors at the hospital where she was treated said Amanda’s injuries also included a laceration on her head, lacerated liver and broken ribs.
On Dec. 24, deputies called to ask Bradley and Scott Hillious to come to the sheriff’s office for further interviews, at which time Bradley said he needed to consult with an attorney first. Shortly after the initial call, however, Bradley contacted the sheriff’s office and said his father had died by suicide. Bradley said Scott approached him and said, “I can’t do this anymore, I’m not going to jail” before taking his own life. Sheriff Brian Heino said Scott Hillious’ death remains under investigation.
When Bradley Hillious did speak to deputies again, he admitted there was a “physical altercation” with Amanda on Dec. 15 but requested an attorney when asked if he caused her death.
In April, Amanda Hillious filed for an order of protection against her husband and father-in-law, days after law enforcement was called to their home. In the filing, Amanda alleges Bradley reacted violently after she confronted him about an affair — smashing two phones, pinning her against a wall and a vehicle, putting his hands around her neck and threatening to kill her — and that Scott threatened her when she tried to leave the house with the four kids. Amanda withdrew her request for an order of protection after the pair agreed to attend marital counseling, according to court documents.
If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, the Abbie Shelter operates a 24-hour crisis helpline at (406) 752-7273. Additional information can be found at www.abbieshelter.org.
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