Death After Midnight

A young Colorado mother is shot in the head with her own gun after a New Year's Eve party gone wrong - but who pulled the trigger?

Death After Midnight
Death After Midnight 44:16

Produced by Lindsey Gutterman, Lauren Clark, Alec Sirken, Chuck Stevenson, Chris Ritzen and Doug Longhini

Three years have done nothing to reduce the pain for Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin.

Their only daughter, 28-year-old Ashley Fallis, died in the early hours of New Year's Day 2012.

"After she died, even the day after she died, I -- in my mind, I couldn't comprehend that I would not speak to her every day," Fox said of the daughter she described as "vivacious -- full of life, funny."

Ashley Fallis and her children
Ashley Fallis and her children Joel Raguindin

The idea that Ashley would take her own life and leaving behind her three kids -- Madelynn, Jolie, and Blake, all under 10 years old -- is unimaginable.

"She just loved her family, and she loved life," Fox told "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty Ashley would never do anything like this.

Fox and her daughter were extremely close.

"To be honest, they were like best friends," said Raguindin, Ashley's adoptive father.

"A lot of times, I think teenage daughters or sons are trying to pull away from their parents. We didn't have that relationship," said Fox.

Ashley even asked her mother to be her matron of honor at her first marriage soon after high school.

"She was just awesome," Ashley's older brother, Bryce Fox-Ragundin, told Moriarty. "Wanted to be a mom really bad. Finally got that opportunity and was a great mom."

But after the birth of their two daughters, that marriage fell apart - they were too young. In April 2007, Ashley met Tom Fallis; he seemed responsible and ready for a family.

"And what was it about Tom that drew Ashley to him?" Moriarty asked.

"He said he wanted a large family. He was very family-oriented ," Fox replied.

"And it seemed like their relationship progressed really quickly," added Raguindin.

Just months into their relationship, Ashley became pregnant.

"I think-- it was a way for them to feel more connected to each other in too short of a period of time," said Fox.

They had a son, Blake. Two weeks after he was born, the couple married. Soon, Tom Fallis also adopted the girls after their birth father gave up his parental rights. Ashley's family felt it was all moving too fast.

"We were not happy about that, and we had actually tried to talk Ashley out of it," Raguindin said. "Bryce and Ashley ... I didn't adopt 'em till, well, it was probably like seven years, eight years after our relationship started."

Tom and Ashley Fallis
Tom and Ashley Fallis Jenna Fox

Ashley and Tom Fallis had only known each other a short time. Her parents say they began to notice disturbing aspects of Tom's personality.

"I didn't like -- his mentality of -- being right all the time and fighting all the time and the aggression," said Fox.

Tom and Ashley settled in the small town of Evans, about an hour north of Denver. Ashley worked as a respiratory therapist, and Tom took a job as a corrections officer with the Weld County Sheriff's Office, working at the local prison.

"Joel and I were like, 'Pfff, that's the perfect job for someone who has an ego that needs to tell people what to do,'" Fox said. "I think he was a very insecure person and he wanted total control of her."

"Do you think you were a threat to Tom?" Moriarty asked Fox.

"Absolutely," she replied. "I was the one person that he could not isolate Ashley against."

Ashley was caught in the middle and the pressure on her only increased when Blake - still just a toddler - was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition where fluid builds up in the brain, requiring constant attention and frequent surgeries.

"She researched everything on hydrocephalus. Everything," said Fox.

By early 2011, the stress of taking care of Blake had taken its toll on the young couple.

"At any time during that, did you feel your daughter was depressed?" Moriarty asked.

"No, I think she was anxious and she was concerned and she would -- had a lot on her plate and -- I think overwhelmed," Fox replied.

"I would say that they were definitely going through some hard times," said Raguindin.

As the pressure built between Ashley and Tom that summer, she considered divorce. But later, in the early morning hours after Ashley's death, while Fallis admitted to investigators that they had gone through a rough patch, he insisted that things were on the mend:

Tom Fallis to police: ...end of July, early August, we really started workin' on us ... and then her and I started going to counseling.

Fallis, still covered in Ashley's blood, said they had turned a corner a month earlier. Ashley had been taking medication for anxiety and seeing a therapist.

Tom Fallis to police [crying]: We were doing so good.

Things were going so well that they invited close friends and family over for the New Year's Eve party. Then, just days before, Ashley took a pregnancy test, and got a shock. Even though she had had a tubal ligation, she believed she was pregnant.

Tom Fallis to police: When we found out, when she had that positive test, it was like, all right, it's like we finally, like, got over everything.

She stopped taking medications out of precaution, and then, another shock. On the day of the party, Fallis says Ashley began to bleed and miscarried.

Tom Fallis to police: So she was kinda down today.

But Fallis says they forged ahead with the party and as the night went on, the friction between Jenna Fox and Tom began to surface.

"There was an eruption during part of the party, Tom had been cussing, and very loudly, so I asked him to stop after a period of time 'cause he was quite loud and there were kids in the house, and he got very very angry with me," Fox explained.

"I always knew that Tom hated me," she said.

As the party was winding down, Fallis flew into a rage when he overheard one of the guests, Fox's brother, offering Ashley marijuana:

Tom Fallis to police: I saw Ashley with her coat on. And I was like, "Where are you going?" And she was like, "I'm gonna go have a smoke." ... And I was like, "You don't need to go get high."

As Fox and Raguindin were leaving the party, they saw Fallis, still upset, go into the bedroom and slam the door.

"It didn't take much to set him off," Raguindin explained. "Short fuse is the word."

Ashley followed them outside. It was around 12:40 a.m. when they said goodbye.

"And what was Ashley's demeanor like? Was she upset?" Moriarty asked Fox.

"No, she's kinda, like, 'Whatever.' Like, 'This is normal. This is Tom,'" she replied.

"We were the last ones to see Tom Fallis in a fit of rage," Raguindin said. "A fit of rage. Our daughter giving us hugs and goodbye kisses, and her standing on the front porch waving goodbye, and that's the last we saw of our daughter."

Fallis later insisted that it wasn't Ashley he was angry with, just her mom, saying Fox was responsible for trying to get Ashley to do drugs.

Tom Fallis to police: I told Ashley, I was like, "You don't need to get high." I was like, "If whatever happened today with the miscarriage," I was like, "It happened." ... I was like, you know what? F--- your mom. F--- everybody. Let it go.

Asked if there was any truth to that, Fox told Moriarty, "No ... no truth."

Ashley's autopsy shows that she didn't smoke marijuana that night, but Fallis says that after she put the kids to bed, Ashley came into the bedroom defiant.

Tom Fallis to police: She's like, "F--- you. If I want to get high, I'll get high." ...I'm like, "Do whatever you want to."

As Fallis tells it, he was in their closet to change clothes, when suddenly he heard the sound of a gun being loaded from across the room.

Tom Fallis to police: She has a .9mm Taurus. She keeps it under her mattress. ...she was behind the side of the bed. She was low.

He says it all happened so quickly. He was on his way out of the closet -- closing the door and asking Ashley what she was doing -- when he heard a "pop."

Tom Fallis to police: I heard that and there was smoke. I just ran over to her and I just grabbed her head. And I was holdin' her head and I reached up and I grabbed her phone and I dialed 911.

Tom Fallis to 911: "You're staying here! You are not leaving me! You are not leaving me!"

Colorado husband's panicked 911 call 00:46

That 911 call came into the dispatcher at 12:50 a.m., just 10 minutes after Ashley's family had left.

Tom Fallis to police [crying]: And I opened her eyes and I started talking to her. I was like, "I -- I'm right here. You're not leaving. You're not leaving me."

"Literally there was two squad cars coming into the neighborhood. We were between the two when we did a U-turn. It was shocking. And everything was happening so fast," said Raguindin.

Joel Raguindin and Jenna Fox didn't see Ashley again until they got to the hospital. Ashley had severe brain trauma from a gunshot wound to the head.

"It is incredibly unbelievable to see your kid lying in a bed with a bullet hole through them," said Fox.

"Did you get to say goodbye?" Moriarty asked.

"Yes. Yes. Yeah, I don't know how you say goodbye," Fox replied.

"I'm just gonna ask you point blank, do you believe your daughter committed suicide?"

"No. Not at all. No," said Fox.

"From the minutes we last saw her alive, we've always known that Tom Fallis murdered her," said Raguindin.


In the early morning hours of New Years Day 2012, officers from the Evans Police Department responded quickly to the call from the Fallis home. It's a small department, with 36 officers.

Evans is a peaceful, low-crime community, says Police Chief Rick Brandt.

"I don't think we've had an armed -- maybe one or two armed robberies here since I've been her in almost eight years," said Chief Brandt.

Even though Tom Fallis had called in the shooting as a suicide, police brought him in for questioning early that morning, while his parents watched the children. Investigators were suspicious right away, because neighbors said they heard yelling. Fallis was questioned by Detective Rita Wolf:

Det. Wolf: Then she's telling you to get off of her.

Tom Fallis: I wasn't on her.

Det. Wolf: Why do you think someone said that? They could hear her vividly saying, "get off me, get off me."

Tom Fallis: I wasn't on her.

Det. Wolf: So somebody's just making that up, Tom?

Tom Fallis: My wife never told me to get off of her.

Det. Wolf: When you went upstairs and you were arguing with her. The wound on the back of her head isn't where she could do it herself, Tom. It's not.

Tom Fallis [pounding table]: Oh bulls---! Bulls--- Bulls--- Bulls---! I didn't shoot my wife!

Investigators also searched his body and noticed scratches on his chest. Fallis says he scratched himself:

Tom Fallis to police: Because I just shaved my chest. I just shaved it, because I've never done it before ... I'm sitting there going like this with my shirt. Because it itches, it scratches.

Fallis gets increasingly agitated as Wolf continues her questioning:

Tom Fallis: You're accusing me of killing my wife. I'm not supposed to get upset? That doesn't make sense...

Det. Wolf: You were upset before this.

Tom Fallis: Yeah, 'cause I've been here the whole time.

Det. Wolf: You are known to blow off the handle, is what they're saying.

Tom Fallis: I didn't shoot Ashley. I did not shoot my wife. I didn't shoot the mother of my kids.

After Ashley's death, officers questioned the couple's three children; no psychologist was present. The two older children said they heard yelling in the bedroom. And according to police reports, 6-year-old Jolie made the shocking statement that before the yelling she heard, "Dad getting the gun ready and shooting her three times."

But Jolie also said she didn't see Tom Fallis holding the gun because "the door was closed" and police only found evidence of one gunshot -- not three. So Chief Brandt says the investigating officers dismissed the child's statements.

"Because there was some contradiction about what she said she saw and then what she couldn't have seen ... that the conclusion was drawn that, OK, this isn't reliable for us," Brandt explained.

Clues in the Fallis' bedroom Provided by CBS News consultant

Police also found evidence that raises questions about Tom's version of events: pictures seem to have been ripped off the wall, indicating a struggle; divorce papers were found on the dresser, Ashley had bruises on her legs and the fact that a large flashlight had been found on the floor near where she died. And Fallis had been angry at the end of the party.

"How angry was he at that point? Moriarty asked Fox.

"He was very angry, very angry. I mean he said, 'I wish you would all f---ing die,'" she replied.

Det. Wolf: You were mad at the fact that she was listening to her mom.

Tom Fallis: I've already told you that.

Evans Police continued to gather evidence and investigated for a day or two. Their reports indicate that the investigation ceased while forensic tests were pending. Jenna Fox went to confront one of the investigating officers.

"We went in and it was like on day four, maybe-ish ... I said, 'I don't know how many homicides you guys deal with, I don't know--you know Evans is a small town,'" she explained. "'I don't know what your experience is in any of this ... I said, 'I want to find out what happened, you know? I want to know if you guys are investigating this case or not.'"

After he was questioned that first morning, Fallis was released without charges, and not questioned again.

"Were you expecting Tom to be charged? Moriarty asked.

"Yes. Oh yes, we were shocked. We were shocked that they let him go," Raguindin said. "With the Evans Police Department, nobody seemed to care who we were, or that they were in any kind of hurry to take our statement."

Despite their concerns and evidence pointing to possible homicide, the coroner ruled Ashley's death a suicide on January 5 -- four days after it happened and before forensic testing was completed. The case was officially closed two months later.

"I believe in our system of justice. I've dedicated my life to it," Brandt told Moriarty. "You know, the fact is, if there was evidence to support a probable cause finding on Tom, we would have arrested him."

The case was closed, even though Ashley's parents insisted there was no reason in the world their daughter would have committed suicide.

"She would never do anything like this," Fox explained. "She has a mission for Blake."

With Tom Fallis free of any charges, he moved with his children to Indiana to attend graduate school. Ashley's parents had lost their daughter, but they didn't want to also lose their grandchildren. So they maintained a relationship with Tom.

"He's in another state with my grandkids. It's crazy. And that's the life we've been living for two and a half years. And we continue to do what we need to do because our love for our grandkids is much, much greater and more powerful than the hatred we have for Tom Fallis," said Raguindin.

But then, two years later, came an unexpected twist. A local television news reporter began his own investigation.

"It's not very often that you hear someone confess to murder and get away with it," said Justin Joseph.


In early 2014, Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin were still convinced their son-in-law, Tom Fallis, murdered their daughter, Ashley, after the New Years party in 2012.

"How would you describe the last two years?" Erin Moriarty asked Fox.

"It's definitely a roller coaster. It's hard to grieve," she replied.

"But why would he kill her?"

"Out of anger," Fox explained. "I think it's a high possibility because of the divorce papers, because of everything that was going on."

But the Evans Police Department did rule Ashley's death a suicide and closed the case. And it remained closed until a reporter with the local FOX station named Justin Joseph got a call.

"I had a source with law enforcement who called me and said, 'Something isn't right about this case,'" said Joseph, who is also a CBS News consultant.

Joseph spent months investigating and interviewing neighbors who had initially spoken to police. In April 2014, he got a major break:

A young next door neighbor, Nick Glover, told Joseph something about Tom Fallis that was not in the police reports.

"I saw him walk out, so we all ducked underneath the window sill, and his parents were standing outside and he's saying, 'Omigod I can't believe I did it', three or four times.... And then his parents said, 'What? What are you saying?' And I remember him extinctly [sic] said, 'I shot her,'" he told Joseph.

Nick Glover said he told that to Evans Police Officer Michael Yates.

"And he said, 'Detective Yates sat right here where you're sitting and heard my story and wrote everything down,'" Joseph told Moriarty.

Nick Glover's mother, Kathy Glover, also spoke to Joseph, telling him she had gotten a call that night from another neighbor-- a teenager named Chelsea Arrigo.

"And I said, 'I've been trying to get a hold of Chelsea, Chelsea does not want to participate.' And she goes, 'Well you need to talk to her because the minute this happened she called me and said, "Tell me you called police, your neighbor just shot his wife,"'" Joseph said. "And immediately something went off in my head and I said, 'Can you say that again?' And she said, 'Yeah, Chelsea called me that night right after it happened and said, "Tell me you called police, your neighbor just shot his wife."'"

This came as shock, because in Yates' report, he writes that Kathy Glover told him that Arrigo said, "Your neighbor just shot herself" -- a major discrepancy.

"So, the Glovers were never presented an opportunity to review their statements. They thought for two years that their statements were correctly recorded. And they thought that the Evans Police Department simply declined to prosecute. And so they were as shocked as everyone was to learn that the statements were omitted and the statements were changed," Joseph explained.

Joseph confronted Officer Yates:

Justin Joseph: What do you want to say, sir? We've got your report right here.

Officer Yates: Yeah, I can't speak to that right now. I would refer you to the Chief of Police, Rick Brandt, with the Evans Police Department.

"I think it's a question of one individual's word against another," Chief Brandt told Moriarty.

"To this day, Officer Yates insists that Nick Glover never told him that he actually overheard Tom Fallis saying he shot his wife?" Moriarty asked.

"That's correct," said Brandt.

"What about Kathy Glover's claim, who says that she got a call saying, 'I hope you've called the police, your neighbor just shot his wife.' Did, in fact, the witness say that to Officer Yates?"

"Not according to Officer Yates," Brandt told Moriarty.

Still, Chief Brandt can't explain why his officers failed to do a follow up interview with Chelsea Arrigo. They knew from the very first night she had heard Ashley yelling "get off me."

"But Chelsea Arrigo was an earwitness," said Moriarty.

"She was," Brandt agreed.

"And you didn't go back and interview her. Why not?"

"I can't answer that. But I think that was an error," Brandt replied.

"A serious error, wasn't it?" Moriarty pressed.

"I would agree with that," said Brandt.

Ashley's parents believe the omissions are part of a cover up by Evans Police.

"Evans Police Department decided to cover up her death as a suicide from the very beginning," Raguindin said. "Now the big question is, why?"

Chief Brandt insists there was no cover up-- that his officers just made some mistakes.

"There's this allegation that there was some kind of cover up. OK, if that happened, somebody's gonna find it," he said. "To my knowledge, none of that happened."

But Brandt can't really explain why his department concluded so quickly -- just days after Ashley's death -- that she committed suicide, especially when there was so much circumstantial evidence pointing to foul play.

The pictures, the divorce papers, the flashlight and more -- a red shirt Fallis wore to the party left in the driveway unexplained. Numerous witnesses at the party reported that he was angry that night.

"Aren't all those inconsistencies very troubling?" Moriarty asked the police chief.

"I'm not informed to that level of detail on cases. I get kind of overviews, briefings. Where we're at. So much of the detail that you're talking about now, in hindsight, after reviewing it, yes -- those draw questions," said Brandt.

Chief Brandt says his less-experienced officers called in the CBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, for assistance and then, later, closed their own investigation.

"So, I mean that's a really important question. Why would you close the case when you still have lab results pending?" Moriarty asked Brandt.

"I think that was a mistake. I don't think you do close a case when there's lab results pending," he replied.

"So why was it closed?"

"I can't answer that question," Brandt replied.

"But this is your department," Moriarty noted.

"It is my department, but I don't run investigations," he said.

In fact, Chief Brandt says he didn't know there were questions about the investigation until Justin Joseph's reports two years later.

"You know, the first time I became aware of problems or issues with this case was when Fox 31 called me for an interview. And that's frankly the first time I started even reviewing the report in any kind of detail," he said.

Justin Joseph's reporting changed everything. Chief Brandt asked for the investigation into Ashley's death to be reopened, but this time, by another police department in nearby Fort Collins with a larger team of investigators. Brandt also ordered a second investigation by yet another department into Officer Yates' alleged omission that an eyewitness came forward saying he had heard Tom Fallis confess to murder.

"This new information includes alleged eye and earwitness accounts, that we were previously unaware of, and are of a serious enough nature to warrant further investigation of this case," Chief Brandt addressed reporters.

"I feel like it's a relief. It's been a lot of work, but I'm really relieved by it," Fox said. "I mean, it doesn't bring Ashley back by any sense at all, but I think I just want the truth out there."

What did Tom Fallis think of the developments? Joseph surprised him during a return trip to the area:

Justin Joseph: Wonder if we could talk to you about the death of your wife.

Tom Fallis: I'm not talking to you about this - the investigation was already done and the investigation was already ruled she committed suicide.

"I would just like to see him be charged with murder, go to trial and let a jury decide," said Fox.

As the new investigation was unfolding, "48 Hours" tried to get some answers, hiring a forensic re-creation specialist to examine the evidence.


"I'm a forensic animator, I own a company called 'The Evidence Room' and what we do is we demonstrate the physical relationship of the evidence as it relates to crimes," said Scott Roder, who was hired by "48 Hours" to try to determine what happened to Ashley Fallis in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2012.

"What will you be able to tell us?" Moriarty asked Roder.

"You know, the thing about crime scene reconstruction and forensic animation -- there's never just one answer that is correct 100-percent of the time. We deal in probabilities. And what we're looking for is a most probable scenario," he explained.

Forensic animator Scott Roder was hired by "4... 01:19

Roder takes measurements at the scene. He reviews all the available evidence photos and he returns to the very room where it happened.

Somewhere between 12:40 and 12:50 in the morning, just a space of 10 minutes, Ashley Fallis was shot either by her own hand or by Tom Fallis'.

"Here we have the flashlight, the gun, the blood spatter..." Roder said, referencing a crime scene photo.

"What happened to her is consistent with suicide? It could be?" Moriarty asked.

"Yeah, it could be," said Roder.

A re-creation of the suicide scenario

Roder created an animation that matches Tom Fallis' version of events -- placing Tom inside the closet, with Ashley on the other side of the bed, on her knees, shooting the gun. The single bullet then travels upwards through the wall. That's the suicide scenario that Evans police accepted so quickly.

"What seems to have happened in this case is they assumed it was a suicide and did no investigation whatsoever," said Roder.

But Tom Fallis' story doesn't explain the pictures that appear to be torn off the bedroom wall, Ashley's scream heard by neighbors or the curious object found near Ashley's body.

"I think the thing that's extremely out of place is this Maglite flashlight. I don't know what it's doing there. I think that it may be involved in this incident," Roder pointed out. "In several of the autopsy photographs, Mrs. Fallis has severe bruising on her lower leg."

"He works for the sheriff's department," Moriarty noted.

"Correct," said Roder.

"He has law enforcement in his background. So the idea of using something to knock someone down to his or her knees would not be unusual for someone in law enforcement?" Moriarty asked.

"Absolutely not," said Roder.

"Is there any other evidence that you see at the scene that would explain those injuries on her hip or leg?" Moriarty asked.

"Not that I can see," Roder replied.


So Roder creates another scenario to try to make sense of that evidence. Did Ashley and Tom first struggle inside the bedroom? Did Tom Fallis use the flashlight to knock Ashley to her knees before shooting her? It is possible says Roder, but in this scenario, if Tom shot Ashley, how did the bullet travel upwards through the wall?

"But wouldn't it be more likely that you'd shoot down at someone as opposed to shooting up like that? You'd have to get down and shooting up?" Moriarty asked Roder, mimicking the move.

"Unless there was a struggle over the gun. Then the gun could have been discharged accidentally," he explained. "It's not necessarily, only, you know, suicide or murder. It could be an accidental discharge as well."

And what happened to the flashlight? Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt doesn't know if it was taken in as evidence or examined.

"Do they have that flashlight that was on the floor?" Moriarty asked Chief Brandt.

"I--again, I don't know anything about that flashlight," he said.

With what is known now, Roder can't say exactly what happened inside the Fallis' bedroom. But he says Ashley's body may hold the key -- specifically the false fingernails she was wearing on the night she died.

"I think the number one piece of evidence that I wanna see is what is the result of the DNA analysis underneath Ashley's fingernails. Did she scratch Tom?" Roder said of the scratches on Fallis' chest.

Chief Brandt confirms that fingernail evidence was taken.

"At the autopsy, there was fingernail clippings taken and--" said Brandt.

"Were they handed to the CBI and tested?" Moriarty asked.

"We submitted them to CBI. CBI reported to us that because there was so little material that testing it would destroy the sample," Brandt replied.

Has it been tested since then? The Fort Collins Police Department, now handling the investigation, says no--but refused to release any details. But Justin Joseph reported in January that a law enforcement source told him that Tom Fallis' DNA was found:

Joseph's KDVR report: Those swabs of Ashley's fingernails tested positive for Tom Fallis' DNA, calling into question whether Fallis lied that night about those scratches and not fighting with his wife.

"Scratches on the chest and neck of the husband, reports of fighting, pictures ripped off the wall, a bag packed on the bed. I think you have to try to develop a scenario that fits those facts," said Roder.

Only Tom Fallis knows for sure what happened in the room. And his story is on the record.

Tom Fallis to police: I didn't shoot my wife!

"Does Tom's story make some sense when you redo this in animation?" Moriarty asked Roder.

"I think it is a scenario that is possible. Yes," he replied.

"Is it also consistent with the idea of Tom Fallis shooting his wife?"

"It definitely is. It's as possible as the suicide," Roder said. "I think it's 50/50. Could have been a suicide, could have been a homicide."

What Roder is sure of is that the Evans Police Department rushed to judgment.

"I've been involved on dozens -- hundreds of different cases like this. And the appropriate way to handle it is you start with a homicide investigation ... But you don't start with suicide and then you have nowhere to go," he said. "What they did in this instance was they started with a suicide and that's as far as it went."

And since Roder did his analysis, more evidence has emerged that complicates the story even more--the discovery of alleged suicide notes from Ashley: "And I can't go on any longer. I am sorry."


The Fort Collins Police Department was now re-investigating the case. Then, more than two years after Ashley Fallis' death, Tom Fallis supplied an explosive document - a typed letter allegedly written by Ashley several months before she died. Authorities would not reveal the letter publicly, but it was quoted in a court document:

"Dear Tom.... I'm sorry for your pain... I am a failure at everything... I find myself not even liking my children. I do love them; I just can't take this life any longer".

"That does not sound like our daughter. At all," said Ashley's father, Joel Raguindin.

"Ashley and I had talked about her divorcing Tom, and so I'm thinking that the life she's talking about is the one she's living with him," Ashley's mother, Jenna Fox, explained.

The typed letter was followed by another handwritten note, where Ashley says she is "broken" and has "done all I can."

"I think the most curious thing about those letters is that when ... we were told it was a suicide, these letters never appeared. These letters just came recently," Fox said. "If there was an investigation that was going on for me, and I had information, I would ... give it to the police at that point."

Tom and Ashley Fallis
Tom and Ashley Fallis Family photo

In November 2014, a grand jury was convened to consider all of the evidence - including the alleged suicide notes. Their decision? Tom Fallis is indicted for the murder of his wife, Ashley. The next day, nearly three years after Ashley's death, he is arrested in Indiana.

"It was like an answered prayer and a weight just being lifted off," Raguindin said. "And to just feel that sense of justice has taken place."

Tom Fallis declined to speak with "48 Hours." But, in an email, his attorney maintained that he "is innocent, he loved Ashley and is a loving father of three children."

On Wednesday, April 8, Justin Joseph reported yet another new development: a Weld County Deputy Sheriff has been suspended for failing to come forward with information he had three years ago about Ashley Fallis' death. That information? According to Joseph's sources, the deputy had been at the scene and overheard Tom Fallis making an incriminating statement:

Joseph's KDVR report: Telling authorities he heard Tom Fallis allegedly confess to shooting his wife Ashley, killing her.

That would support Nick Glover's account. "I remember him extinctly [sic] saying 'I shot her,'" Glover told Joseph.

In a statement to "48 Hours" after that report, Tom Fallis' parents insist that Tom is innocent. They did not comment on the deputy's alleged statement, but they did say, "Nick Glover's claim that Tom confessed is an absolute lie."

"Are you concerned now that the mistakes your department may have made could affect this prosecution? Moriarty asked Chief Rick Brandt.

"Well, you know, absolutely that's a concern of mine. That's something that I've fretted about since the indictment came down," he replied.

Tom Fallis' attorney maintains that the facts will show that Ashley Fallis was a troubled woman who sadly chose to take her own life. She also alleges that due to their difficulty accepting her suicide, Ashley's parents have "waged a relentless public relations campaign accusing Tom of murder."

"I think his whole family blames us. I don't think they understand what has been taking place. I think that so much time had passed, that Tom thought he got away with it," said Ashley's mother, Jenna Fox.

Tom Fallis is currently out on bail, but not allowed to leave Colorado. The children remain in Indiana with his mother. As Ashley's family waits for the legal system to move forward and for Tom's trial to begin, they continue to struggle with her death.

"It's really hard because I stay focused on things and -- that's my primary thing. But then I -- I get very upset," Fox said. "I have not had a time to really grieve my daughter."

"It has been hard. There is no doubt that Jenna and I suffer for the hardship that has come with the battle that we have taken on," Raguindin said. "We are the living legacy of our daughter. And that's why [voice breaks] and that's why we have fought so hard."

They are praying a trial will finally lead to answers -- not just for them, but for the three children that Ashley left behind.

"I desire truth, and from the get-go we have known the truth. And, in form of justice, I would want to see Tom Fallis go to prison," said Raguindin.

"We don't have to be the advocate for our daughter anymore. ...We don't have to fight for her anymore," Fox said. "Now we just want to be advocates for her children."


Ashley Fallis' parents are currently fighting for custody of her children. They have also filed a federal lawsuit against the Evans Police Department.

Authorities found no evidence to bring criminal charges against Evans Police Officer Michael Yates for the alleged discrepancies in his report.

No date has been set for Tom Fallis' trial.

  • Erin Moriarty
    Erin Moriarty

    Correspondent, "48 Hours"