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Detective: Man charged with murder acted strangely

Published December 6, 2013 12:02 pm

Courts • Conrad Truman is accused of killing his wife, Heidy Truman, in 2012.
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Provo • Police arriving at the scene of a fatal shooting at an Orem home last year initially believed they were responding to a suicide.

But the strange behavior of the woman's husband soon made them believe the home was a crime scene, according to testimony Friday in Provo's 4th District Court.

Conrad Mark Truman, 31, is charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice for the Sept. 30, 2012 death of 25-year-old Heidy Truman.

A preliminary hearing in the case — where a judge will decide if there is enough probable cause for Conrad Truman to stand trial on the charges — began Friday with prosecutors calling Orem police Cpl. William Crook to the stand.

Crook testified that Conrad Truman was standing in his front doorway screaming for his help when he pulled up on a call of a shooting.

"He had blood on his hands," Crook said. "Blood on some of his clothing."

Crook said he walked up the stairs in the home, and saw Heidy Truman's lying naked in blood that was coming from her head.

While paramedics worked to resuscitate Heidy Truman, Crook said he began interacting with Conrad Truman.

"He threatened to kill me and everyone I know if I didn't save Heidy," Crook testified.

Orem Fire Battalion Chief Russ Sneddon testified on Friday that when he arrived, Heidy Truman still had a pulse, and had "labored breathing." She was taken to a local hospital, where she later died.

Sneddon testified that Conrad Truman's behavior was very unusual in his experience.

"I remember him saying, 'I will f—-ing kill you,' " Sneddon testified.

A 911 call Conrad Truman made after his wife was shot was also played in court Friday, where the man can be heard sobbing and screaming as the dispatcher tries to get information about what had happened in his Orem home.

Several times during the call, Conrad Truman yells "Why?" and "C'mon, c'mon!" When the dispatcher asks him to calm down so she could give him instructions for life-saving procedures, Conrad Truman doesn't respond.

The families of Heidy and Conrad Truman were in tears by the time the 911 call ended.

Conrad Truman told police that before the shooting, he and his wife had been drinking and watching Dexter — a television series about a serial killer who kills other serial killers.

Conrad Truman said he had six shots of whiskey or bourbon, and his wife drank somewhat less.

Crook said Conrad told him that at some point during the night, the couple had argued that night, and Heidy went to take a shower.

But Conrad Truman's account of what happened between when she went to take a shower and when she collapsed near the kitchen after being shot, was difficult to follow.

"He was disorderly, he was agitated, he was threatening," Crook said. "His conversation didn't make sense. He didn't make full statements."

Crook said a gun was sitting on kitchen table, and at some point, Conrad Truman grabbed it.

"He picked up the gun and he yelled at it," Crook said. "Then he threw the gun."

A second gun was also found lying on the floor between Conrad Truman's legs as he sat the kitchen table. Crook said he slid the gun with his foot so it was out of Conrad Truman's view and reach.

Later, at the police station, Conrad told Crook that there was an 80 percent chance that his wife committed suicide and a 20 percent chance someone outside shot her.

Conrad denied shooting the woman and said no one else inside the home could have shot her, Crook testified.

"He never said to you, 'I pulled the trigger on the gun that killed my wife?' " defense attorney Ronald Yengich asked Crook during cross-examination.

"No," Crook replied.

Charging documents indicate that Conrad Truman claimed someone else shot his wife through the window of their Orem home. But Crook testified that he did not see bullet holes or a blood trail that would support the theory that she was shot in the bathroom, as the husband claimed.

An investigation found Conrad Truman stood to collect about $878,000 in insurance and other inheritances after his wife died. Charging documents claim money was the motive for the murder.

Autopsy reports show 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 he was in another room when his wife was shot. The two had bickered that night, and she went into the bathroom to take a shower, he allegedly told police. He said 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.

Colette Dahl — Conrad Truman's sister — has said the couple was financially stable, and did not have the numerous insurance policies listed in court documents. She said their family is "frustrated and hurt" by inaccuracies presented by investigators, adding that Conrad and Heidy Truman loved one another, and that her brother would never murder his wife.

Tribune reporter Jessica Miller is tweeting live from the preliminary hearing.


Twitter: @jm_miller






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