Monday, Sept. 21, 2015|3:37 p.m.
DENVER– A federal jury on Monday convicted a guy of murder for pushing his wife to her death off a cliff as they hiked in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National forest to commemorate their wedding event anniversary, declining his claim that her fall was an awful mishap.
It took the jury about 10 hours to find Harold Henthorn, 59, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his 2nd better half, a rich Mississippi local. She died after plunging about 130 feet off a cliff in a remote, rocky location where the couple had actually been treking on Sept. 29, 2012, their 12th wedding event anniversary.
Henthorn told private investigators that his partner stopped briefly to take an image of the view and fell face-first over the ledge. His attorney, Craig Truman, stated district attorneys failed to show he eliminated her.
Prosecutors suggested during a two-week trial that Henthorn thoroughly staged Toni Henthorn’s death to resemble a mishap since he stood to benefit from her $4.7 million in life insurance policies, which she didn’t know existed. They seized on Henthorn’s inconsistent accounts of the fatal fall and stated the proof did not match his moving stories.
Henthorn shook his head when the judge surveyed the jury, and after the verdict was read, one of the jurors hugged Toni Henthorn’s mom, Yvonne Bertolet.
“That was extremely meaningful,” Bertolet said. “Believe it or not I forgive him (Henthorn) for doing it. I feel for him and his household.”
After the jury was dismissed, applause appeared in the courtroom.
“We are thrilled with the verdict and eased this won’t happen to other lady,” said Barry Bertolet, Toni Henthorn’s sibling. “We do not have to worry anymore.”
Harold Henthorn, who deals with a mandatory life term when he is sentenced Dec. 8, searched the remote location of the popular park 75 miles north of Denver 9 times before bringing his spouse with him. He was searching for the “perfect location to murder someone,” where there would be no witnesses and no opportunity of her enduring, prosecutor Suneeta Hazra said.
Toni Henthorn, 50, wasn’t an avid hiker, so it didn’t make good sense that she would have gone voluntarily into such hazardous surface, investigators affirmed. A coroner stated he could not figure out whether she fell or was pushed, however he said he found no proof that Harold Henthorn in fact carried out CPR on his spouse, in spite of exactly what he told dispatchers.
And park rangers stated Henthorn might not discuss why he had a park map with an “X” drawn at the area where his better half fell.
Prosecutors said the fatal fall was reminiscent of the death of Henthorn’s very first spouse, Sandra Lynn Henthorn, who was crushed when a vehicle slipped off a jack while they were altering a flat tire in 1995– numerous months after their 12th wedding event anniversary. Henthorn has actually not been charged in that case, but authorities reopened the investigation after his 2nd other half’s death.
Information of the earlier case dominated the trial. A paramedic who responded to the 1995 accident affirmed that Henthorn didn’t appear distressed by what had actually taken place, and an investigator stated a shoe print found on the car recommended it may have been pushed.
Though the investigation into Sandra Lynn Henthorn’s death was at first closed after a week, Truman suggested that the probe had actually been extensive and the case just got brand-new analysis after Henthorn was charged with murder. The first better half’s death was a mishap, he stated, as was a 2011 occurrence where a 20-foot beam fell on Toni Henthorn while the couple was working at their mountain cabin. It hit her in the head and fractured her vertebra.
Toni Henthorn was a successful ophthalmologist from Mississippi who likewise made money from her household’s successful oil company.
Harold Henthorn told her he was a business owner and convinced her to move with him to the Denver suburban area of Highlands Ranch. They had a child, now 10.
Prosecutors said Harold Henthorn made counterfeit company cards to make it look like he was a hard-working fundraising event for churches and nonprofits, however private investigators discovered no evidence that he had any income from regular employment.