Judge: Trial for man accused in wife's cliff fall "will be a doozy"

DENVER -- Jury selection is underway in the trial of a man accused of shoving his second wife to her death off a cliff in Rocky Mountain National Park and a judge told about fifty prospective jurors Wednesday that the case "will be a doozy," reports CBS Denver.

Opening statements in the federal trial of 58-year-old Harold Henthorn are scheduled for Tuesday. He is charged with killing his wife, Mississippi native Toni Henthorn, during a scenic hike they took in September 2012 to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

Sandra Henthorn, left, and Toni Henthorn
CBS News

Harold Henthorn has pleaded not guilty, but investigators say he could not explain why he had a park map with an "X'' drawn where his wife fell. They say he stood to benefit from her $4.5 million in life insurance policies.

The judge will let prosecutors present evidence they say suggests Harold Henthorn also killed his first wife, Sandra, who was crushed to death by an SUV in 1995. Officials have since reopened their investigation into her death, which was initially ruled an accident. No charges have been filed in that case.

CBS Denver reports about half the prospective jurors summonsed on Wednesday indicated they had heard of the Henthorn case through the media. Three jurors were dismissed after they told the judge they felt they could not be impartial.