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Provo • The first question a defense attorney asked Conrad Truman on Thursday: "Did you shoot your wife?"
"No," Truman replied.
Testifying in his own defense Thursday, Conrad Mark Truman insisted that he did not hold a gun to his wife's head and pull the trigger as prosecutors contend.
Truman was outwardly calm and soft-spoken as he told a jury about his life with Heidy Truman. Conrad Truman looked at the jury as he told them about his first date with Heidy Truman they went to a concert along with details about their two-year courtship before they married on a Park City mountain in 2009.
In their Orem home, he said, they left cards and sticky notes with loving messages on them. Those messages were admitted into evidence on Thursday.
"We gave them to each other all the time," Conrad Truman testified. "Anniversaries. Birthdays. Sometimes just for the heck of it."
Eventually, Conrad Truman discussed the night of Sept. 30, 2012, when the woman was fatally shot in their Orem home.
Conrad Truman, 32, is charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstructing justice in the death of his 25-year-old wife.
The night Heidy Truman died, her husband said they had been watching the television shows "Dexter" and "Homeland" and drinking Maker's Mark whiskey when at some point, he heard yelling outside.
Conrad Truman testified that he grabbed his dog and his gun and went to investigate. He did see a strange man on his walk, he testified, and told his wife about it when he returned home.
The couple continued talking about various topics, including whether they should get another dog, when Heidy Truman decided to take a bath, the husband testified.
"I believed I irritated her a bit," Conrad Truman said. "Husband and wife teasing."
After about 20 minutes, Conrad Truman said he heard a pop and looked to his wife, who was standing naked in the hallway.
"It was my wife," he testified. "There was a choking sound and blood. Everything happened so fast. It's way too difficult to explain."
The husband testified that somehow both he and his wife ended up on the floor. He tried to perform CPR and called 911.
When police arrived, they 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.
While police were in the home and medics worked on Heidy Truman, Conrad Truman threatened responding officers several times. The man testified on Thursday that he's "apologetic" for that now, and said he was frustrated and didn't know what was happening.
"I was just confused," the man testified. "I didn't know what was going on. It was the dogs barking. The blood. All the people in the house."
Police began to suspect Conrad Truman of murder when he told conflicting stories about her death, saying at different times that an intruder could have been in the home, that someone may have shot her through a window or that his wife shot herself.
"I know I didn't have a gun," Conrad Truman testified. "I know I didn't shoot a gun. I was just doing the best I could to find an analytical way to find out what happened."
Conrad Truman is expected to continue testifying under cross-examination Friday morning. Prosecutors rested their case on Wednesday, and defense attorneys called two other witnesses Thursday a blood spatter expert and a life insurance agent to the stand before the defendant testified.
Prosecutors have accused Conrad Truman of killing his wife, motivated to collect nearly $1 million in life insurance benefits.
Defense attorney Ronald Yengich told a jury during opening statements that Heidy Truman likely died by accident that she shot herself when she slipped and fell while holding a handgun after taking a bath.