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Utah man in court for allegedly murdering his wife in 2012

Published July 22, 2013 1:40 pm

Courts • Charging documents say motive was $878,000 in insurance and other inheritances.
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Provo • A 31-year-old Orem man accused of fatally shooting his wife last fall to collect insurance and other inheritances was arraigned Monday in 4th District Court.

Conrad Mark Truman claims someone else shot his wife through the window of their Orem home on Sept. 30, 2012, but police believe it was Truman who killed the woman.

An investigation found he stood to collect about $878,000 in insurance and other inheritances after 26-year-old Heidy Aline Truman died. Charging documents claim the money was the motive for the killing.

The husband was charged Friday with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstructing justice.

Truman — who is represented by Salt Lake City defense attorney Ron Yengich — will appear again in court on Oct. 28. At that time, Truman will inform Judge Samuel McVey whether he wants a preliminary hearing.

Yengich is on vacation, so prosecutors want to give him time to prepare a defense, said Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson, explaining the October court date. Meanwhile, Truman remains at the Utah County jail on a $1 million cash-only bail.

Truman called 911 the night of the shooting, telling dispatchers that his wife was bleeding and needed help, according to an affidavit filed with Truman's charges. But police were suspicious of Truman from the beginning, starting with when he refused dispatchers' attempts to give him life-saving instructions for his wife over the phone.

Court documents say the man even threatened to kill the 911 operator and later issued the same threats to emergency responders trying to help after they arrived.

By then, there was nothing they could have done anyway. Later autopsy reports showed that Heidy Truman was shot in the head with a pistol belonging to her husband. The pistol had been pressed hard against the side of her head. In the house, police found blood everywhere — in the kitchen where Heidy Truman's naked body lay, in the front entry, the living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and on Truman himself.

Despite the evidence, however, Truman told investigators that he was in another room when his wife was shot. The two had an argument that night, and she went into the bathroom to take a shower, he allegedly told police. He then said that she finished showering about 20 minutes later while he was watching TV in the living room. Then, according to his initial account recorded by police, Truman heard a loud pop and saw his wife walk out from the bathroom area and collapse on the kitchen floor.

Truman initially posited that his wife may have been shot through a window by an unknown person outside the house. Later, according to court documents, Truman would tell police that his wife might have committed suicide.

Numerous points in Truman's story didn't seem to hold water with investigators. According to court documents, there was no evidence that Heidy Truman was shot anywhere near the restroom. Medical examiners also told police that since Heidy Truman was shot at such a close range, she would have died immediately and wouldn't be able to walk from the bathroom to the kitchen after being shot, as Truman's story claimed.

After the initial interviews with police on the night of his wife's death, Truman became evasive and wouldn't return investigators' phone calls, court documents state. After detectives finally cornered him at his work in October, Conrad told police he no longer wanted to speak to them. He allegedly told them: "You have questions, well, they can wait until I'm ready."

Police found that Truman stood to collect a large sum of money from his wife's death. Truman had a $120,000 policy on his wife that he opened in January 2012, even though he had never purchased a policy through his work's open enrollment period in the three years prior. In addition to that, Heidy Truman had another policy worth $461,000, and the couple applied for yet another plan, with Heidy Truman's side of the policy worth $250,000. While Truman himself was only insured for $300,000, Heidy Truman's multiple plans plus other benefit packages offered through her work made her death worth more than $878,000.

In April, police learned that Truman filed a claim with one of his wife's life insurance providers. According to court documents, Truman wrote on the claim that his wife died from a gun accident.

"This pecuniary gain is the primary motive in Conrad's killing of Heidy," police wrote in their affidavit.

Orem police Sgt. Craig Martinez has said that police worked for months to investigate the truthfulness of Truman's claims and to ultimately get the evidence they needed to arrest him.

"We wanted to make sure we had all of our 'i's dotted and our 't's crossed in the right way," Martinez said. "We would rather err on the side of caution than risk the chance of losing a case in court."


Twitter: @mikeypanda






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