Harold Henthorn, who went on trial this week for the murder of his second wife, allegedly pushed her off a cliff at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2012 because he was trying to get his hands on $4.5 million from three life insurance policies, federal prosecutors argued Tuesday.
Prosecutors claim that Henthorn made conflicting statements to national park rangers, police, family members, and friends about Toni Henthorn's death, ABC7 reported
. He reportedly texted family and friends after the incident, telling some she was alive and others she was dead, prosecutors said in court.
When he called 911 to report an incident at Rocky Mountain National Park, he told emergency operators he couldn't stay on the phone because it was on low battery, but then proceeded to make or receive some 20 calls and 90 text messages after the 911 call ended, according to the television station.
Prosecutor Suneeta Hazra told jurors of another incident in 2011 in which the couple was staying at a Grand Lake cabin they owned, according to the Denver Post
. A beam fell off a porch where Henthorn was working and hit Toni Henthorn in the head, fracturing her vertebrae.
Harza said in court that Harold Henthorn had taken out the three insurance policies on his wife without her knowledge. Investigative ranger Mark Faherty said that Henthorn initially claimed he only had a $1 million insurance policy, and stated that half would go to the couple's daughter and the other half to nonprofits and family.
Dr. Barry Bertolet, Toni Henthorn's brother, testified that Harold Henthorn kept changing his story about what happened to his sister. Bertolet said Henthorn first told him that Toni had gotten behind him on the trail and so he went back to look for her and saw then that she had fallen down the cliff, according to the Post.
In another version, Bertolet said Henthorn told him that he was looking at her cellphone when the accident happened and then claimed he had received a text from his daughter.
Craig Truman, Harold Henthorn's attorney, told the federal jury that Toni Henthorn's fall off the cliff was an accident and asked them to judge his client on the facts and not what he called character assassination, according to the Post.
The death of Toni Henthorn has also raised suspicions about the death of Harold Henthorn's first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn. She died in 1995 when the couple's Jeep Cherokee slipped off a jack and crushed her while her husband was changing a tire, according to the ABC7.
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