Henthorn denies pushing wife off cliff in RMNP

Posted at 11:45 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 01:45:22-05

The man convicted of pushing his wife off a cliff in Rocky Mountain National Park said in court Tuesday that he did not kill his wife, Toni.

Harold Henthorn opted to speak at his formal sentencing.

Henthorn told the court, "Toni was a remarkable woman and I loved her with all my heart. I did not kill Toni or anyone."

Henthorn's daughter thriving

The guardian ad litem for Henthorn's 10-year-old daughter Haley testified Tuesday. She said Haley is thriving.

"She has learned about telling the truth and she's learned how to be independent," the guardian said.

"Haley is afraid she might grow up to be like her father," the guardian ad litem said, but she also said she explained to Haley that both her own and her dad's behavior is a choice.

The guardian said Hayley decided to no longer refer to Henthorn as her father.

Murder in Rocky Mountain National Park

Harold Henthorn called 911 on Sept. 29, 2012 and said his wife, Toni, had fallen.

However, prosecutors said Henthorn, an unemployed Highlands Ranch businessman, shoved his second wife down a 128-foot cliff to her death during a "surprise" hike to celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary. Investigators later found a map in Henthorn's car with an X marked on it -- showing where his wife fell.

Toni Henthorn was a successful and popular ophthalmologist.

Prosecutors said the killing was part of Henthorn's elaborate scheme to cash in his wife's three life insurance policies worth a total of $4.5 million.

Jurors agreed, finding Henthorn guilty of first-degree murder on Sept. 21.

During the trial, prosecutors brought up the death of Harold Henthorn's first wife in 1995. Sandra Lynn Henthorn was crushed when a Jeep Cherokee slipped off a jack while the couple changed a flat tire on a rural road near Sedalia -- several months after their 12th wedding anniversary.   

Henthorn has not been charged in that case, but the Douglas County Sheriff's Office reopened the investigation after Henthorn was charged in his second wife's death.

"These deaths were not accidents," a prosecutor said during the trial, arguing that Harold staged both wives' deaths to look like freak accidents, to which he was the only witness. In each case, the prosecutor said, Henthorn stood to benefit from his wife's life insurance policies.

After victim impact statements were made on Tuesday morning, a judge sentenced Henthorn to life in prison.


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