William Jay Gollehon was sentenced to death by the State of Montana for a prison murder. According to court documents the victim, Gerald Pileggi, was beaten to death with a baseball bat. William Jay Gollehom was serving a 130 year sentence for the murder of a woman. William Jay Gollehom was convicted and sentenced to death
William Jay Gollehon 2021 Information
DOC ID# 19043
NAME: William Jay Gollehon
CURRENT STATUS: Secure
LAST STATUS CHANGE: Monday, October 7, 1991
INFORMATION CURRENT AS OF: Monday, March 15, 2021
Montana State Prison
400 Conley Lake RD
Deer Lodge, MT 59722
William Jay Gollehon More News
On September 2, 1990, the badly beaten body of inmate Gerald Pileggi was found lying in the exercise yard of the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana.1 Several witnesses had seen inmates William Jay Gollehon and Douglas Turner both strike Pileggi multiple times with baseball bats. An autopsy revealed that Pileggi died from massive head injuries, including a blow to the top of the head which had caved in part of his skull, as well as a blow to the side of his face which had collapsed his forehead, torn his brain, and ruptured his eyeball.
Gollehon and Turner were jointly charged with deliberate homicide for the beating death of Pileggi. The information was later amended to add an alternative count of deliberate homicide by accountability .2 The difference between these counts, as explained by the Montana Supreme Court, is that the “charge of deliberate homicide by accountability allowed the jury to convict both men involved in the deliberate homicide without having to make the determination of who struck the fatal blow.” State v. Gollehon, 864 P.2d 249, 261-62 (Mont.1993) (“Gollehon I ”). After a joint trial, the jury found Gollehon and Turner guilty of deliberate homicide by accountability. Both were sentenced to death.
Douglas Turner Death
Death row inmate Douglas Turner was found hanging dead in his maximum security cell at Montana State Prison early Tuesday morning.
Guards doing their routine rounds of the building found Turner, 31, hanging from a part of his cell around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, said Cheryl Bolton, a prison spokeswoman.
“It looks like an apparent suicide,” Bolton said.
Turner was pronounced dead Tuesday morning by the Powell County coroner who was called to the prison. His body was taken to the state crime lab in Missoula for an autopsy, which is required any time an inmate dies alone in prison, Bolton said.
Turner was a nine-time murderer who spent almost half his short life behind bars. He killed for the first time in 1987 — less than a month after his 16th birthday — when he shot dead three neighbors in his hometown of Glendive. Although not legally an adult, Turner was sentenced to 100 years at the state prison in Deer Lodge. Two years later, he and another inmate, William Jay Gollehon, beat to death fellow prisoner Gerald Pileggi with a baseball bat while the three were recreating in the prison yard.
Turner was sentenced to death for Pileggi’s murder and transferred to the prison’s highest-security building.
Less than year later, Turner took part in the 1991 deadly riot at the building, killing five other inmates. He was sentenced to life for the murder
Just how long Turner’s life would have been was up in the air. He had no execution date, Bolton said, and his latest appeal of his death sentence are still pending before the Montana Supreme Court.
Many details of the death have not been released. Bolton said she wouldn’t say what was in his cell because the death is still under investigation. Neither would she say if Turner had ever tried to kill himself before or if he was on a suicide watch at the time of his death, citing medical confidentiality.
In recent years, she said, Turner was not known as an unruly inmate. He had not received any disciplinary write-ups in the last seven years and he was not being punished for bad behavior at the time of his death.
Turner’s life was isolated. He was locked down in his one-man cell most of the time. He ate meals in his cell. He had not been outside the prison in some time, Bolton said. Condemned inmates are allowed out of their cells only to shower and to recreate in outdoor cages or a small internal day room for an hour-and-a-half every other day. Turner rarely ventured into the cages, Bolton said.
In Glendive, where his mother lives, Turner is still known as an infamous criminal.
“As far as I know, he is the most prolific murderer I’ve heard of in the state,” said Dawson County Attorney Scott Herring.
His family is expected to handle the funeral, Bolton said, but if that changes, the prison will bury him in a special part of the Deer Lodge cemetery reserved for deceased inmates.