Ashley Fallis, a 28-year-old Evans, Colorado, wife who died in a fatal shooting on New Year’s Eve, is the subject of the next segment to air on Dateline NBC. Tonight’s Sunday night episode titled, “After The Party,” looks into the mysterious death of a young mother who ended up dead with a gunshot wound to the head after hosting a New Year’s Eve party. What was at first ruled a suicide was later thought to be a homicide that was covered up by the police to protect one of their own. Tom Fallis, Ashley’s husband, was charged but later found not guilty in her death, according to ABC News.
Ashley Fallis, a respiratory therapist, and Tom Fallis, a corrections officer and former sheriff’s deputy, had just said goodbye to their guests after a casual New Year’s Eve party. But 911 operators received a phone call after midnight from Tom Fallis, shouting that his wife had shot herself. When the paramedics arrived, they saw the trauma to her head, and it appeared that she was still breathing. Ashley Fallis was transported to the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
During the police-taped interview, a distraught Tom Fallis was bent over in agony once he found out that Ashley was dead. He insisted that his wife, who he claimed suffered from depression, argued with him after the party while he was inside the bedroom closet. A short time later, Tom heard Ashley cock the gun and fire.
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Ashley Fallis’ death was ruled a suicide. But, that never set well with her family who believed from the beginning that she had not taken her own life. She loved her family and kids too much to do that, they stated.
For three years, Ashley’s family tried to keep the case in the public eye as they fought for justice. It looked like there might be some resolution after Tom Fallis was indicted for her death almost three years later. That indictment came about after Ashley Fallis’ family found out that a teen neighbor claimed to have heard Tom Fallis admitting to the shooting. The Evans Police Department also came under fire for not investigating the report, leading Ashley’s family to believe there was a cover-up. At trial, the prosecution put on a compelling argument, according to the Daily Mail.
“Whether you believe Ashley Fallis, a young mother of three with her whole life ahead of her… in a matter of moments went from happy-go-lucky… to walking into her bedroom, pulling out a gun – her kids just rooms away – and putting a bullet in her head. Or whether you believe the one person witnesses describe as being as angry as he could possibly be as putting a bullet in her head.”
However, Tom Fallis’ attorneys quickly created doubt, using the forensic evidence, which seemed to support a suicide, instead of a murder. They also portrayed Ashley Fallis as an unstable woman whose life was falling apart. The defense also added the following key points to describe Ashley Fallis, according to the Daily Mail.
- Like a “pressure cooker,” a troubled woman with a family history of suicide
- Overwhelmed by a miscarriage and was intoxicated after a New Year’s Eve party.
- Off her mental health medication at the time
- The loss of her job in 2010
- Stress from her son’s 10th brain surgery
- An affair she had in the summer of 2011
- Had several mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, bipolar tendencies, and sleeping disorders
- Created emails in the name of her lover and sent those to her husband to cause him pain
After deliberating, the jury found Tom Fallis not guilty–a verdict that saddened Ashley Fallis’ mother and father who worked so hard to get a conviction. Dateline NBC’s story of Ashley and Tom Fallis airs tonight at 10/9 p.m. central.
[Image by Joshua Polson/The Greeley Tribune via AP]