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Attorneys for an Orem man, who will face trial for the second time in the 2012 shooting death of his wife, have asked the Utah Supreme Court to decide if a judge erred by refusing to lower his bail.
Conrad Mark Truman, 34, is facing charges of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice in 25-year-old Heidy Truman's death.
A jury in 2014 convicted the husband of the crimes, but 4th District Judge Samuel McVey ruled in August that Conrad Truman would receive a new trial because jurors relied on incorrect measurements of the couple's home when they found him guilty of a holding a gun to his wife's head and pulling the trigger.
Last month, after a November trial date was set, Truman's attorneys asked that his $1 million bail be reduced, but McVey refused.
Attorneys Ann Marie Taliaferro and Mark Moffat filed a petition on Monday asking Utah's highest court to examine this decision, and decide whether McVey applied the law correctly. They argue that the judge has essentially denied bail for Truman because of the high amount.
"The fundamental liberty interest at issue here is of such importance, that Utah's highest court should determine the issue," the attorneys wrote. "Despite the stereotype that popular culture would have us believe, claims of actual innocence are rare. Cases in which factual innocence is actually demonstrated are even less common. Truman's case, however, is one of those instances where the facts and physical evidence establishes innocence."
Last month, Moffat argued that when McVey originally set the high bail in 2013, he relied on misleading and erroneous evidence presented by police and prosecutors. This included the incorrect home measurements, mischaracterizations of Conrad Truman's statements to police after his wife was shot and an incorrect theory that the husband stood to inherit a large sum of money if his wife died.
During those arguments, McVey repeatedly told Moffat that he could not weigh the evidence when considering a bail amount. Truman's attorneys now argue that the judge's assertion was a misapplication of the law.
"The court continuously expressed that it was not going to weigh the evidence, seemingly believing it was bound to accept what was previously submitted in sworn statements as true," attorneys wrote, "and refused to even consider the clear fact that what had been presented to him previously in the affidavit and probable cause statement was false."
No court dates have been immediately set. Prosecutors from both the Utah County Attorney's Office and the Utah Attorney General's Office declined to comment Wednesday.
Last week, Truman's attorneys filed a motion to have McVey removed from the case, but details of their request are not public because it was filed under seal.
Heidy Truman was shot on Sept. 30, 2012 at the couple's Orem home, and died the next day. Her husband also was there that night, but has said he was in the kitchen when he heard a noise and then turned to see his wife collapse.
Police began to suspect Conrad Truman of murder when he told conflicting stories about her death and threatened the life of a responding police officer.
While prosecutors argued that Truman's erratic behavior pointed to murder, defense attorneys told jurors the husband was in shock and under the influence of alcohol.