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The Billings Gazette from Billings, Montana • Page 19
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The Billings Gazette from Billings, Montana • Page 19

Billings, Montana
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3 Wednesday, January 24, 2007 7B LOCAL STATE Ex-Billings man convicted of murder Billings man guilty of felony exposure "(Brad Reay) was one of the best witnesses I had. His testimony hurt him a bunch. He changed his answers constandy, and his story moved around constandy. Mark Barnett South Dakota chief deputy attorney general prosecutors later dropped one of the charges. Ommundson did not testify at his trial, and his public defenders rested the defense case Tuesday morning without calling any witnesses.

Deputy County Attorney Scott Twito called four witnesses before resting the state case on Monday afternoon. During closing arguments, Deputy Public Defender Brandon Hartford told jurors that Ommundson was not guilty of the charge because the two female victims did not see his genitals. One woman testified that she looked Ommundson in the eyes, and then turned her head away in disgust The other woman said the man was positioned in a way that she did not see that area of his body. Twito told jurors that it was Ommundson's intent to harass anyone who walked by him in the open and public area. Court records say Ommundson has six prior convictions for indecent exposure, although Twito said Tuesday that the number would be verified before the sentencing hearing.

State law designates a fourth or subsequent charge of indecent exposure a felony. Ommundson was charged in May 2002 with felony indecent exposure after witnesses said a naked man exposed himself to a group of adults and children at a Little League baseball game in the Heights. A mistrial was declared at his trial in February 2003, when jurors said they could not agree whether Ommundson was guilty. ByGREGTUTTLE Of The Gazette Staff A District Court jury took less than an hour Tuesday to convict a 48-year-old Billings man of felony indecent exposure. David Ray Ommundson shook his head after the jury verdict was read in Judge Susan Watters' courtroom.

The jury began deliberations at about 10:15 a.m. Jury members announced they had reached a verdict at 1055 a.m. Watters set a sentencing hearing for March 22. Ommundson, who remains in custody at the county jail, has several previous felony convictions for indecent exposure, drunken driving, drug possession and burglary. Felony indecent exposure carries a prison sentence of between five and 100 years.

The verdict followed a one-day trial at which two women testified that they were walking together on a path on the Rimrocks near the airport last April when they came across a naked man on blanket. The women were in Billings for a youth ministry conference. The naked man looked at the women, but no words were exchanged and he made no movement toward them. The women said they were angered and called police. A Billings police officer, Irvan Floth, testified that when he arrived, he found Ommundson still naked and drinking beer.

Ommundson initially was charged with two counts of felony indecent exposure, but PIERRE, S.D. (AP) A jury on Tuesday night found a Pierre man guilty of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of his wife last winter, rejecting his story that the couple's young daughter was the actual killer and he was only trying to cover up her crime. Brad Reay, 47, formerly of Billings, will be sent to prison for life without the possibility of parole for the brutal stabbing death of his wife, Tami, 41. The life sentence is mandatory in cases of first-degree murder where prosecutors do not ask for the death penalty. The daughter, Haylee, 13, was in the courtroom with her mother's parents and one of her mother's sisters when the verdict was read.

They sobbed openly and hugged prosecutors afterward. Reay showed no outward emotion when the verdict was issued. He was led away in handcuffs. Sentencing to come His attorney asked for immediate sentencing, but Circuit Judge Kathleen Trandahl said she would decide on that request today. Family members will be allowed to speak when Reay is sentenced.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Mark Barnett said in closing arguments that it was despicable for Reay, 47, to stoop to accusing his daughter of the murder. Barnett said Reay stabbed his wife to death just days after she asked for a divorce. Reay was not only in a jealous rage over his wife's affair, but he also wanted to be sure his wife would not get any of their money in a split, Barnett said. While he was locked up in jail, Reay spent much of his time trying to keep his finances in order and hoping that the county would pay for his defense, Barnett said. He said the slaying was carefully planned and took place in the middle of the night in Tami Reay's bedroom.

The couple slept in separate rooms. "She was blitz-attacked while she was asleep," Barnett told jurors. "This is payback." The woman was stabbed several times, wrapped in blankets acquit the defendant. He faulted authorities for not considering that Haylee could have been the murderer. Police had her DNA but never tested it against an unknown DNA sample on a wash cloth that had been used to clean the SUV after the woman's body was dumped, he said.

Children sometimes kill their parents, Rensch said, while admitting that it is more common for one spouse to kill another. Haylee was a happy child with friends and a nice house, and she may have been upset with her mother for asking for a divorce, Rensch said. "There's a lot that could have been going on between Haylee and Tami without us knowing about it," he said. Rensch cautioned jurors about the danger of convicting an innocent man. "If he's telling us the truth, shame on us all," he said.

Defendant's testimony Testifying under cross-examination Tuesday, Reay said he did not kill his wife. He said she it was only after he was jailed for his wife's death that he learned she was having trysts at a motel and in vehicles with Clark. Reay, an assistant manager at Wal-Mart, said he was not surprised that his wife was seeing another man. "It's not the first time she's cheated on me," he said. The family had lived in Billings, for more than a decade before moving to Pierre a few years ago so Reay could advance in the Wal-Mart organization.

Though the couple had been married for 14 years, they slept in separate bedrooms because Reay has restless legs syndrome. But Reay said they had sex every and a tarp, and then taken to an isolated spot not far from Lake Oahe to be stripped naked and dumped, Barnett said. A condom was shoved into her rectum in an attempt to fool police into thinking it was a rape and murder, he said. It's preposterous to believe Haylee killed her mother in such a savage frenzy, the prosecutor told jurors, who took just a few hours to reach their verdict. Tami Reay, 41, was stabbed about three 3 dozen times.

A pathologist said some of the wounds were made after she was dead. "Do you really think that an 84-pound soccer kid has this kind of power and rage in her sleep?" REAY and anger Barnett sajd. Reay testified Monday that he awoke and found his daughter standing over her mother, bloody knife in hand. The child was in a catatonic state and does not remember killing her mother, he said. Although Reay testified that he did not know his wife had a lover, Barnett said Reay placed a tape recorder in Tami Reay's SUV that caught a conversation in which the woman told a man by cell phone that she loved him.

That man was co-worker Brian Clark, who was an assistant manager at the local Kmart. Clark called police on Feb. 8 to report the woman missing. Reay's lawyer, Timothy Rensch, said Haylee could have committed the killing, and there's reasonable doubt to Private Yoga Private Pilates to schedule your appointment. AWARD WINNING SERVICE People's Choice Award Best Realtor Member REMAX Hall of Fame of Billings gr 0 G3PffiQjEl d0Q other day for the past half-dozen years, and he thought the marriage was on the mend.

Reay said their daughter had become upset after learning that her parents were talking about divorce. "Haylee was yelling about how her life was ruined," the girl's father said. Reay said he repeatedly lied to investigators to protect his daughter from being charged with murder. He said he had planned to gather his assets and escape with his daughter to Mexico after police were through questioning him. However, he has been in jail since his wife's body was found.

Daughter denies claim Haylee testified last week that she never would have hurt her mother. The girl said she was afraid of her father and had never been very close to him. Reay said he was close with his daughter and was willing to go to prison for her. Reay said his daughter had very little blood on her after the stabbing. But he said she did have a bloody nose from being struck while her mother was struggling.

Reay told jurors he tried to give his wife mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but there was no pulse. Barnett asked Reay on Tuesday if he saw any blood when he tried to revive her, noting that he testified Monday that he had looked at her chest to see if she was getting air when he breathed into her mouth. "I could not see any stab wounds," Reay said. "All I could see was some blood." Barnett said it would have been virtually impossible not to notice the 19 stab wounds in the woman's chest Barnett said it was a mistake for Reay to take the stand. "He was one of the best witnesses I had," Barnett said after the verdict "His testimony hurt him a bunch.

He changed his answers constantly, and his story moved around constantly." The prosecutor said Reay's accusation against his daughter did not help him in the minds of jurors. "That's the most cowardly blame-sharing act I've seen from a defendant in 27 years," he said. s0 fves. 30 Off 30 Days Free: Scott Hicks 896-2223 REMAX Soccer YELLOWSTONE SOCCER 4 Yean New "For All Your Real Estate Needs" Call LAURA ODEGAARD 238-7193 Visit our website: ASSOeiflTIOII LCUxiUSDUL vm Prudential Floberg REALTORS- indepe'Kte'itty Owned and Operated Monro? FOR SPHIIIG 2007! WEST PARK PLAZA Saturday, January 27th 11am 3pm first HEIGHTS SUBWY UNIVERSAL ATHLETICS COMMUNION DRESSES a J. 1 Massage Lindsay Johnson, CMT Call today cue V' is jFti 1 JI IXF West Park BILLINGS KRKS RECREATION DERRTMENT OR DOWNLOAD FROM and mailed to: YSA, 1445 Avenue Billings, MT 59102 January 31st Mailing Deadline BOUTIQUE HOURS: MON-SAT 10-6 SUN 1-5 Plaza 294.12971603 Grand 1 PLAY IT AGAIN SPORTS SCHEELS BIG BEAR GARTS omen ptwiiawaiiaggl Hit I a 11 TTftri 'si's i i mi WINDSHIELD SPECIALS 1973-96 Ford Pickups $130 1997-2007 Ford Pickups $135 1973-87 Chevrolet Pickups 95 1988-2007 Chevrolet Pickups $147 1994-2007 Dodge Pickups $147 'Some exclusions may apply.

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Obtain forms by contacting the YWCA, 909 Wyoming Billings, MT 59101, 406-252-6303, or download forms from the website. You may also contact the YWCA to reinstate previous years' nominations. Submit your nomination form by February 21, 2007, 5:00 pm. Five Salute Honorees will be selected by a committee of community members who are independent of the YWCA and the major sponsors. Honorees will be chosen based on the achievements in the areas listed above.

Attend the 2007 Salute to Women Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 19, 2007, 5:30 pm. Awards will be presented at this gala event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Salute to Women is a benefit for the YWCA of Billings. Proceeds from the banquet support vital community programs. For information or call 252-6303 fcVJv i takes Amaze 1 Join your first to Curves now and get 30 off the service fee, plus 30 days free. Discover how 30 minutes is all it mm -K tl 1 i' 2203 get a total body workout with our total support yourself." 252-1300 926 Main Street Montana Ave Over 10,000 locations worldwide.

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