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Despite Claims, Government Says Henthorn Had No Job

DENVER (CBS4)- Harold Henthorn, charged with the 2012 death of his second wife, Dr. Toni Henthorn, had no job and no real income according to a government auditor who testified at a court hearing Wednesday afternoon.

The arraignment and detention hearing for Henthorn, 58, comes one week after a federal grand jury indicted the Highlands Ranch man for the September 2012 death of his wife who fell from a cliff in Rocky Mountain National Park during an anniversary weekend hike.

Harold Henthorn, Toni Henthorn
Harold Henthorn and Toni Henthorn (credit: CBS)

Henthorn, facing one count of first-degree murder, said his wife, Dr. Toni Henthorn, was taking a picture when she slipped and fell but that he did not see what happened as he was looking at his phone.

Dana Chamberlin, an economic crime auditor for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver, testified that despite Henthorn's claims to friends and family that he was a fund raiser for charities and non profits, she said her investigation revealed Henthorn had no steady income and did not appear to be employed. She said she found some earnings for Henthorn in 1993, 1999 and 2000, but that was all.

Henthorn maintained for years that he was a fund raiser for various non-profits but Chamberlin's testimony in federal court suggested that was not true.

Chamberlin testified that Henthorn stands to gain $4.5 million from three life insurance policies on his wife, money that has not been paid out. CBS4 had previously revealed those policies.

Chamberlin also confirmed on the stand what CBS4 first reported- that on the first business day after Toni Henthorn's death, a claim was made on one of the three, $1.5 million policies. She testified the claim was made by an associate of Henthorn's insurance agent, Neil Cresswell.

While those policies have not paid out, Chamberlin testified that Henthorn collected $496,000 in insurance proceeds following the unusual 1995 death of his first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn. She died on a rural Douglas County road at night after Harold Henthorn said one of his tires felt "spongy" and he pulled over to change it. He said somehow his wife ended up under the car, possibly looking for a lug nut, when a jack failed and the car fell on her, leading to her death.

After a one week investigation, The Douglas County Sheriff ruled it an accident. But the agency has now reopened that case.

The government auditor also testified that in January and February of this year, Harold Henthorn transferred a total of $500,000 to his brother, Robert Henthorn.

"He wanted to invest in his brothers business," said Chamberlin saying that Henthorn said it was "doing well" and would provide returns in the range of five to seven percent.

But under questioning by a government prosecutor, Chamberlin said the $500,000 money transfer "was not typical" for Henthorn.

She said Harold Henthorn's net worth appears to be about $1.5 million.

Federal Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tafoya said she wanted to receive a pre-trial report Wednesday afternoon before making a decision on whether Henthorn should be released on bond. Prosecutors want Henthorn to remain in jail without bond while his attorney is expected to argue that he should be released.

Craig Truman, Henthorn's attorney, said in court Henthorn was pleading not guilty to the single murder charge he is facing.

Henthorn, clad in a tan jail issued jumpsuit, was handcuffed and shackled in court but took notes on the afternoon proceedings.

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