A man convicted of pushing his wife to death off a cliff in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park is back in court this week, in his third attempt to challenge his conviction.
Harold Henthorn, then 59, was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison for the murder three years earlier of his second wife, Toni. He’s asking for a new trial, saying attorney Craig Truman charged him more than $1 million but ‘provided no defense…sold me downline,’ according to documents obtained by state television. Denver CBS4.
Toni Henthorn, 50, fell about 130 feet off a cliff from a lone trail on September 29, 2012.
Investigators found a map in Henthorn’s car with the site of death marked with an X. Prosecutors said he planned the murder carefully, driving the trail nine times before taking his wife to this which he called a surprise outing for their 12th wedding anniversary. .
Prosecutors also referred to a 2011 incident in which Toni Henthorn was injured when a 20ft beam fell on her head after her husband called her to the porch of their mountain cabin.
Harold Henthorn lost an appeal in 2017 in which he argued the judge should not have allowed evidence of his first wife’s death, in 1995. Henthorn said she was run over by a car while ‘she was helping him change a tire; prosecutors suggested the circumstances were suspicious and pointed out that after the two deaths, Henthorn received large life insurance payments.
In 2018, the Supreme Court rejected his request for a review of the appeal court’s decision.
Henthorn is appearing in U.S. District Court this week via video from federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he is being held. He was tried in federal court because the death occurred in a national park.
The couple’s daughter was 7 years old when her mother died. In 2015, guardianship was given to Toni’s brother and his wife.