Watch CBS News

911 Calls By Henthorn Partially Persuaded Jury To Convict Of Murder

DENVER (CBS4)- Federal prosecutors on Thursday released photos, documents and audio recordings that were used as evidence in the federal murder trial of Harold Henthorn. Last month a jury convicted Henthorn of killing his second wife, Toni, by pushing her off a cliff in Rocky Mountain National Park in 2012.

911 Call: "My name is Harold Henthorn. I'm in Rocky Mountain National Park. I need an Alpine Mountain Rescue Team immediately."

It seems the 911 calls made by Henthorn partially persuaded the jury to convict him. They were the only time jurors heard from Henthorn after he claimed his wife slipped and fell while on a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

harold toni henthorn
Toni and Harold Henthorn in Rocky Mountain National Park (credit: CBS)

911 Call: "My wife has fallen off the north-south summit of Deer Mountain"

"The 911 call... there was so much inconsistency on the call," said juror Jerry Taboada.

Taboada said Henthorn's 911 pleas didn't feel right, "It didn't add up, it was cold and it was calculated, there was no feeling behind those calls at all. He wanted her to die."

911 Call: "Harold this is Julia. They tell me you need some assistance doing some CPR..."

Other jurors said even after getting instructions, it didn't sound like Henthorn tried to save his wife.

"When he was with the operator who was giving him instructions on how to perform CPR. It was clear that he was not following instructions," said juror Marxy Miller-Zahn.

Jurors also said pictures, released on Thursday, showing where Toni Henthorn fell, led them to convict Henthorn.

"You could see how steep it was and how rough the terrain was," said juror Dawn Roberts.

"I felt she should have never had to experience something like that," said Taboada.

Harold Henthorn, Toni Henthorn
Harold and Toni Henthorn (courtesy to CBS)

Harold Henthorn, 59, always maintained it was an accident. He did not testify at his trial nor did he call any of his own witnesses.

Prosecutors said he did it for $4.7 million dollars in insurance proceeds Henthorn would have received if his wife's death had been ruled an accident.

Henthorn will be sentenced in December. He plans to appeal his conviction.

Authorities also suspect Henthorn of causing the death of his first wife, Lynn, in 1995.

That Douglas County case was initially ruled an accident, but the Douglas County Sheriff's Office has since reopened their investigation and they say they hope to present a strong case to the district attorney for the possible filing of criminal charges.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.