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Montana Man Sentenced To A Century In Prison For Wife’s 2020 Killing
“I am sentenced to life without my daughter now,” Amanda Hillious’ mother, Michelle Wungluck, said in court on March 8.
A Montana man who was convicted in the violent strangulation murder of 33-year-old wife was given a 100-year sentence this month.
Bradley Jay Hillious, 35, was handed the lengthy sentence on Tuesday by District Court Judge Robert Allison in the fatal 2020 beating of his wife Amanda Hillious.
“The harm caused in this case was as bad as it gets,” Judge Allison said, the Flathead Beacon reported. “Mr. Hillious is not a serious repeat offender, but based on the findings of the jury, he is most certainly violent.”
Hillious was found guilty of his wife's murder in January following his trial in Flathead District Court.
Amanda Hillious was seriously wounded on Dec. 15, 2020 after investigators say her husband choked her and threw her down a flight of stairs, according to the Great Falls Tribune. She died four days later.
Amanda Hillious’ family, who attended this week’s proceedings, welcomed the stiff sentence.
“This does give me some closure now and the sentence was the best I could have hoped for — it did bring a sense of relief," Amanda Hillious’ mother, Michelle Wungluck, told the Flathead Beacon. "I miss Amanda terribly and now I have four children to raise."
Wungluck, who became emotional during her testimony at the sentencing hearing, had requested prosecutors and the presiding judge to impose the maximum punishable sentence.
“I am sentenced to life without my daughter now,” Amanda Hillious’ mother, Michelle Wungluck, told the court on Tuesday, according to Kalispell, Montana publication the Daily Inter Lake.
Bradley Hillious, who didn’t testify at his trial, also addressed the court at some length on Tuesday.
“I miss [Amanda] beyond belief … and our children,” Hillious said in court during his 12-minute statement.
Family members of his dead wife looked away while he spoke to the court, according to the Flathead Beacon.
“I have pleaded and maintain my innocence throughout this whole process,” Hillious also said. “I will continue to maintain my absolute innocence until the real truth is acknowledged. There is no conclusive evidence to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that I was in fact the person that caused the death of another, especially with a more likely suspect who is known [to be] violent and hostile toward others.”
The Montana man has blamed his late father, Scott Hillious, for his wife’s murder.
Scott Hillious, against whom Amanda Hillious had reportedly obtained a restraining order, died by suicide shortly after her death, according to Bradley Hillious' lawyer. She said that he killed himself after police contacted him to see if he’d come in for questioning about Amanda Hillious' autopsy results.
“There's not one shred of evidence that points to him as causing his wife's death,” Jami Rebsom, Hillious’ attorney, told Oxygen.com of her client on Thursday afternoon. “The cops don’t even process his dad, Scott, who had a history with his wife, hated her, right? And nine days later, the dad, Scott Hillious, kills himself with a Taurus Judge gun.”
Rebsom also pointed to the 2018 restraining order as well as a video depicting her client’s father threatening his dead spouse.
“I think Brad was convicted because he had a girlfriend,” Rebsom added. “I think Brad was convicted because Flathead is a small community and there was a lot of trial publicity. We had tried to get the venue moved.”
Hillious’ attorney, who said she plans to file an appeal on her client’s behalf next week, described his 100-year sentence as “shocking.”
“It seems like quite an excessive sentence,” Rebsom stated. “The evidence was 100 percent lacking. The state has no direct evidence that Mr. Hillious caused his wife’s death.”
"We’re just absolutely devastated by the outcome."
Prior to his sentencing, Hillious was being held at a Flathead County detention facility, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com.