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Henthorn Dispatcher: 'Didn't Feel Like He Was Doing CPR'

DENVER (CBS4)- On the opening day of the murder trial for Harold Henthorn, a 911 dispatcher testified that after Henthorn's wife Toni fell nearly 140 feet, and as the dispatcher was walking him through doing CPR, she came to the conclusion he wasn't actually trying to save his wife's life at all.

"I did not believe he was doing the CPR," testified Julie Sullivan, who was a 911 dispatcher the night Toni Henthorn fell in Rocky Mountain National Park in what Harold Henthorn described as an accident.

Sullivan had multiple phone conversations with Henthorn which were taped and played in court. She said most people doing CPR end up breathing heavily .

"He did not appear to be out of breath," said Sullivan.

Henthorn is charged with murdering his ophthalmologist wife, Toni, during a 2012 anniversary hike on Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Prosecutors also say the death of Henthorn's first wife in 1995 was not an accident either.

"The evidence will show you these deaths were not accidents," argued prosecutors during opening statements.

Harold Henthorn
Harold Henthorn (credit: CBS)

One government prosecutor said Henthorn killed Toni Henthorn to get access to $4.5 million in insurance he had taken out on her. They said Henthorn pocketed $645,000 in insurance when his first wife, Sandra Lynn, died in a freak accident while changing a tire in 1995.

VIDEO: Watch the CBS4 special "Inside The Investigation: Harold Henthorn

Henthorn's attorney, Craig Truman, told the jury repeatedly to wait until they see and hear all the evidence before drawing any conclusions. Truman said Henthorn had been plagued by a string of unfortunate accidents with both his wives dying and him as the only witness.

Truman quickly conceded though that Harold Henthorn had repeatedly lied about having a job and a successful career.

"He made them up, it's a lie," said Truman.

henthorn case
Harold Henthorn with his first wife, Lynn (left) and his second wife Toni (credit: CBS)

Prosecutors say Henthorn concocted stories about jobs and a career that never existed. They say he went so far as to take regular business trips out of town on Thursdays and Fridays . But prosecutors say he went to a Panera Bread store and surfed the web during the faux trips.

Truman called Henthorn an "unusual man" but said he loved his wife, Toni.

The prosecutions first witness was Toni Henthorn's brother, Dr. Barry Bertolet. He testified that in the weeks after his sister's death, Henthorn provided at least four different accounts of how his sister had died. Bertolet also said Henthorn quickly had his sister cremated, against the families' wishes.

Harold Henthorn has pleaded not guilty.

The trial is scheduled to run through late September.

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


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