This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
An Orem man convicted of murder for fatally shooting his wife is asking a judge to stay his sentence and release him from prison pending a decision on a separate petition seeking to either toss out his case or grant him a new trial.
Attorneys for Conrad Truman filed the motion Wednesday in Provo's 4th District Court. The filing comes less than a week after Truman's defense team asked the court to consider tossing the case or ordering a new trial based on claims that they have uncovered both new evidence and numerous errors on the part of police and prosecutors which support Truman's assertions of innocence.
"An innocent person should not suffer the punishment prison entails for even one more day, given the proof of innocence and the prosecution's misconduct that is now before the court," the documents from attorneys Mark Moffat and Ann Taliaferro say.
At the very least, the attorneys claim, the allegations raised in Truman's petition support his request for a new trial and he will be "irreparably harmed if forced to remain confined" pending a decision by the courts.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson, who handled the Truman case, on Thursday said he is aware of the filing and plans to file a response next week.
Heidy Truman, 25, died from a single gunshot wound in her head on Sept. 20, 2012, at the couple's Orem home. Her husband was also in the home that night, but has said he was in the kitchen when he heard a noise and then turned to see his wife collapse.
A jury found Conrad Truman, 33, guilty on charges of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice in October 2014. He is serving consecutive terms of 15 years to life and one to 15 years at the Utah State Prison.
Central to Truman's numerous claims of either new or misrepresented evidence claims: The Utah Medical Examiner's Office has reversed its determination that Heidy Truman died as the result of a homicide. Instead, her manner of death is being reclassified as undetermined, following a review of new information provided by the defense and corrections made to some evidence that was relied on both before and during the trial.
"I can no longer state with medical or scientific certainty which individual fired the fatal shot," Edward Leis, a deputy medical examiner states in the affidavit included in court papers. "… I can no longer rule out the possibility that Heidy Truman died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound of the head."
Additionally, Truman contends gunshot residue tests which weren't conducted by police or prosecutors also support both his innocence and belief that Heidy Truman's death may have been suicide.
According to court papers, a Pennsylvania lab found significant traces of residue on Heidy Truman's right hand, in a pattern that is consistent with having fired a gun. No similarly significant amounts of residue were found on Conrad Truman, court papers say.
In an earlier interview, Johnson said he does not believe Truman's claims are credible and is confident the allegations "will be borne out as untrue."