DENVER (AP) - The Weld County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation after a special investigator said there is new evidence in the shooting death of the wife of a deputy in 2012.
Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt said Thursday he hired a former FBI investigator to look into his department's handling of the case to see if new training was needed. He said the former special agent notified his investigators that a deputy told him recently he heard Thomas Fallis say he killed his wife. Brandt said he immediately turned the information over to other authorities who are still investigating the murder.
Fallis, a former Weld County sheriff's deputy who later moved to Bloomington, Indiana with his three children, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 28-year-old Ashley Fallis. Her death was initially ruled a suicide, but Fallis was charged last year after prosecutors reopened the case.
Authorities say Ashley Fallis died of a single gunshot wound to the head in the couple's bedroom after a New Year's Eve party at family members' home. Her family insisted she died at the hands of her husband, and demanded that the case be reopened.
An attorney for Tom Fallis, Iris Eytan, said her client has never confessed and all of the facts have not been released.
"He did not kill his wife, who died tragically by suicide," she said.
Assistant Weld County District Attorney Robb Miller said prosecutors are awaiting the outcome of an independent investigation by Fort Collins police, who have been asked to handle the murder case.
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said in a statement Wednesday that his department is trying to find out why one of his deputies at the scene failed to file a report and waited three years to come forward. He said the deputy, who might have "material information," has been placed on administrative leave. The deputy was not identified.
Reams said they'll turn all evidence from their investigation over to Fort Collins police.
- By Steven K. Paulson, AP Writer
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