A court has handed down Harold Henthorn’s sentence three years after authorities accused the man of pushing his wife off a cliff at Rocky Mountain National Park in order to collect a $4.7 million life insurance policy. Henthorn claimed he was not guilty, but a judge sentenced the man to life in prison after considering the evidence.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Harold Henthorn was the only witness to his wife’s fall off the cliff. Henthorn claims he received a text message from their daughter’s babysitter, but while he was looking at his smartphone, he reportedly “saw a blur and realized Toni [Henthorn] was gone.” The man says his wife survived the initial fall, but by the time rescue workers arrived on scene, the 50-year-old woman was dead.
Authorities initially believed the fall to be an accident, but they became suspicious when they found a map inside the man’s car that marked the spot near where his wife fell to her death. Police also charged the man with pushing his wife off a cliff due to alleged inconsistencies in his story.
“He told law enforcement and family members that he did not see her fall, but rather witnessed a blur while he was reading text messages… He told another witness that both he and Toni were checking text messages and Toni had wandered too close to the edge. He told other witnesses that Toni was trying to take pictures and slipped.”
During the sentencing by U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson, family members gave multiple statements.
“This trial was about the last moment in Toni’s life and the moment that Toni took her last breath,” said Toni Henthorn’s brother, Barry Bertolet, according to the Denver Post. “To Toni Bertolet Henthorn’s family, her friends, and the people for whom she cared, Toni’s life was about the moments that took our breath away.”
Sandra Henthorn’s brother, Kevin Richell, said he was sorry he was not more suspicious when Sandra died.
“We are beyond sorry for not seeing through it,” Richell said. “I think there is a special place in hell for someone like him.”
With Harold Henthorn’s sentence handed down, police are now reconsidering the death of Sandra Lynn Henthorn, who was crushed to death in 1995 while she was working on their broken-down car on the side of the road. Again, Mr. Henthorn was the only witness to his first wife’s death, but a medical examiner determined the death was accidental, speculating that she “may have been looking under the car for a lug nut when the jack slipped and the car crashed down.”
In the case of the first wife’s death, Mr. Henthorn was also named as the only beneficiary on the life insurance policy. Lori Bronner, a spokeswoman for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, says their officers are currently investigating the circumstances of the first wife’s death, and it is possible Mr. Henthorn will face a second murder charge. But Mr. Henthorn claims that he did not kill anyone, insisting that both incidents were accidents.
“I did not kill Toni or anyone else,” Henthorn said.
Barry Bertolet, Toni’s brother, told CBS News that he thinks Mr. Henthorn is mentally ill and might actually believe what he says.
“In his warped mind that’s what he believes he is,” Bertolet said. “He is just mentally ill, I believe in a lot of aspects.”
Harold Henthorn’s sentence is a mandatory life sentence. Mr. Henthorn reportedly plans on appealing his life sentence, but he may be back in court in order to decide the fate of his 10-year-old daughter, Haley. Family members would like to officially adopt the girl, but Mr. Henthorn is resisting the move.
— Rebecca Risch (@rebeccarisch) December 8, 2015
[Image via U.S Attorney’s Office]