GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – The trial of a former Weld County Deputy got underway on Wednesday.
Tom Fallis is accused of murdering his 28-year-old wife after a New Year’s Eve party in 2012. Ashley Fallis’ death was first ruled a suicide, but the case was reopened two years later.
On Wednesday the prosecution called five witnesses, including friends and coworkers who were at the Fallis’ home the night Ashley died.
The defense is painting Tom Fallis as a man who cared for and loved his wife greatly. Prosecutors depicted Fallis as an angry man who was set off when his wife wanted to step outside and smoke a marijuana joint.
Fallis cried in court as his attorney described the moments when police responded to the death of his wife.
“You bet … he almost got Tasered; he was losing the love of his life,” defense attorney Iris Eytan said.
Ashley died from a gunshot wound to the head in the master bedroom of their Evans home. The initial investigation pointed to suicide, but now prosecutors say Tom Fallis was the one who pulled the trigger.
“What you’re going to hear is that from the moment they received that 911 call reporting that Ashley had shot herself in the head, that’s exactly how the scene and the witnesses were treated,” Weld County Deputy District Attorney Anthea Carrasco said.
In opening statements, the state painted the defendant as an explosive man with animosity towards Ashley’s family. The defense painted Ashley as a distraught mother in mourning who went off her medication.
“Ashley wasn’t on her mental health medication. She was intoxicated. She had just suffered a miscarriage. She was a pressure cooker,” Eytan said.
The jury saw a photo taken during a party the night Ashley died.
A family friend said in the days after her death, Tom Fallis seemed more stressed out than sad.
“It just didn’t sound like a man who had lost his wife to suicide. That’s just my personal opinion,” said Derek Mogensen, ex-husband of Ashley’s coworker.
Prosecutors are expected to call many more witnesses in the coming weeks, including the Fallis’ children who prosecutors say were in the home at the time of Ashley’s death.