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An Orem man who was convicted then later acquitted in his wife's shooting death filed a civil rights lawsuit Wednesday against the police department and prosecutor's office.
Conrad Mark Truman alleges law enforcement used "misleading, false and outright fabricated" evidence to charge him with murder and keep him behind bars for nearly four years.
Truman was convicted by a jury in 2014 of murder and obstruction of justice despite his testimony that he didn't shoot 25-year-old Heidy Truman. Last year, a judge granted him a new trial, finding that jurors relied on incorrect measurements of the Truman home when rendering their verdict.
In February of this year, a second jury acquitted the now-35-year-old man of the charges.
Truman alleges in his lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, that Orem police officers unlawfully detained and interrogated him in the hours after his wife was shot in their home in 2012. His attorneys also claim police made false statements or omissions in order to get search warrants, and arrested him without probable cause.
Truman Lawsuit by The Salt Lake Tribune on Scribd
Once he was charged in Heidy Truman's death, the husband says his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure were violated when he was "unreasonably" incarcerated for more than 3 1/2 years in both the Utah County jail and the state prison.
In the lawsuit, Truman's attorneys say that prior to his first trial, prosecutors presented a fabricated financial motive for killing his wife and presented incorrect measurements to the first jury.
Where Heidy Truman was inside their home when she was shot, and how far she could have traveled after she was wounded before collapsing near a stairwell, were contentious points during the first trial.
The incorrect measurements, defense attorneys argued in court papers, could have led jurors to discredit Conrad Truman's testimony that his wife was shot in the hallway, because they would have shown that his wife had to travel down a hallway that was 2 feet longer than it actually was before falling.
Truman has requested an unspecified amount of damages, though he seeks payment in actual economic damages, along with compensatory and punitive damages.
Five individual Orem police officers are listed defendants in the lawsuit, along with one deputy Utah County Attorney. The city of Orem, its police department and the Utah County Attorney's Office are also named in the lawsuit.
Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez referred comment Wednesday to the prosecutor's office. Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said Wednesday evening that he hadn't seen the lawsuit, but it is their office's policy to not speak publicly about pending litigation.
Prosecutors had argued at trial that Conrad Truman's inconsistent stories to police about what happened that night indicated that he killed the woman. His defense attorneys argued that the man's statements were taken moments after the shooting while he was traumatized and panicked about his wife's death. They argued that Heidy Truman shot herself.