U.S. Supreme Court denies petition of man convicted of pushing his wife off cliff to her death in Rocky Mountain National Park

An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by a Colorado man convicted of shoving his wife off of a cliff to her death in Rocky Mountain National Park has been denied.

Harold Henthorn, convicted in 2015 in the murder of his wife, Toni Bertolet Henthorn, filed a petition for a “writ of certiorari” with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a re-examination of a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming his conviction.

Henthorn, through his attorneys, had argued before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson should not have allowed evidence in the death of his first wife, Sandra “Lynn” Henthorn to be introduced in the case of his second wife’s death.

In 1995, Henthorn stopped to change a tire on a Jeep. Shortly afterward, Sandra Henthorn was crushed as the Jeep fell on her.

Just as in the death of Toni, Henthorn collected large insurance claims on his first wife.

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“This case presents us with the difficult issue of whether a district court presiding over a murder trial abused its discretion in admitting evidence of prior, similar incidents, including whether the defendant killed his second wife in circumstances similar to those that led to the death of his first wife,” the 10th Circuit Court decision said in July.

The Denver-based appeals court determined that Jackson properly admitted the evidence in question. “The probative value of the evidence was not substantially outweighed by its potential for unfair prejudice.”

Toni, in September 2012, plunged 128 feet to her death during a hike to celebrate the couple’s 12th wedding anniversary. Henthorn is serving a life sentence in federal prison.

His petition was denied by the Supreme Court on Monday. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a former judge with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, “took no part in the consideration or decision of this petition,” the Supreme Court noted.

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Source:: The Denver Post – News


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