The Kalispell man accused of killing his wife after first claiming she fell down the stairs had his bond reduced to $500,000 during an appearance in front of Flathead County District Court Judge Robert Allison on Thursday.
Bradley Jay Hillious, 34, appeared via teleconference from the Flathead County Detention Center where he is being held in semi-isolation per the jail’s COVID-19 protocols. He is charged with deliberate homicide for the killing of his wife, Amanda Hillious, who was allegedly attacked at their home on Dec. 15 and died at the hospital four days later. According to charging documents, doctors who treated Amanda Hillious observed a laceration on her head, a lacerated liver and broken ribs. An autopsy later determined she died of “blunt force injuries associated with neck compression.”
Bradley Hillious’ Livingston-based attorney, Jami Rebsom, argued that her client’s initial bond of $750,000 was out of line with what had been levied against other homicide suspects and that Hillious, who has a home and employment in Flathead County, was not a flight risk, proven by the fact that he had not fled between the time of the alleged incident and his arrest on Dec. 24, even once he was notified he would be charged. According to Rebsom, Hillious has no prior criminal record and “there’s a more likely suspect” in the case than her client, although she did not elaborate on that assertion.
Rebsom asked for Hillious’ bond to be reduced to $100,000. Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner defended the $750,000 bond, arguing Hillious was not originally from the area, had no remaining family in the area, and had committed an “egregious” crime. Judge Allison landed near the middle, setting the bond at $500,000.
Court records detail a horrific scene at the Hillious home on Willow Glen Trail in Kalispell on the morning of Dec. 15. When deputies from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the house they were greeted by Scott Hillious, Bradley’s father, who directed them to Amanda’s body near the bottom of the stairs. Bradley, Scott and four children — ages 1, 3, 5 and 11 — were all present in the home when Amanda’s injuries occurred. Scott and Bradley Hillious initially reported they were in their respective rooms when they heard a commotion and discovered Amanda, but two of the children contradicted at least Bradley’s story, claiming they witnessed a violent fight between the couple and heard their mother scream “call 911” and “stop Brad” during the altercation. Bradley Hillious later admitted to law enforcement that there had been a “physical altercation” between he and Amanda on the morning of Dec. 15.
On Dec. 24, after law enforcement called to ask Bradley and Scott Hillious to speak with them for a follow-up interview, Scott Hillious allegedly fatally shot himself after telling his son “I can’t do this anymore, I’m not going to jail. I love you.” Scott’s death remains under investigation. Bradley Hillious was arrested later that day.
Amanda Hillious had previously filed for an order of protection against her husband and father-in-law, doing so in April after she confronted Bradley about an affair and he responded violently, smashing two phones, pinning her against a wall and a vehicle, putting his hands around her neck and threatening to kill her. She also alleged Scott Hillious threatened her when she attempted to leave with the couple’s children. Amanda later withdrew the request for an order of protection after she and her husband agreed to attend marital counseling, according to court documents.
Hillious could be sentenced to up to life in prison if he is convicted of deliberate homicide. He is tentatively scheduled to stand trial in May.
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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