A former Colorado police officer has been arrested after being indicted in the 2012 murder of his wife, authorities say.
The Indianapolis Star reports Tom Fallis, 34, was arrested Tuesday morning at his home in Bloomington, Indiana. He was indicted for the murder of Ashley Fallis Monday night by a Colorado grand jury.
Ashley Fallis, 28, was found dead in the couple’s Colorado home on New Year’s Day 2012, after they had hosted a party the previous evening. The death was quickly ruled a suicide by the Evans Police Department, despite evidence that the woman was shot in the back of the head.
At the time of the incident, Tom Fallis was a Weld County sheriff’s deputy.
CBS News reports Ashley Fallis’ parents, Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin, long suspected their daughter was murdered. They reportedly claimed that at least one officer, assigned to investigate the death, either ignored evidence that pointed to Tom Fallis being the shooter or helped him cover up the shooting.
The case was reopened after two years when KDVR reporter Justin Joseph presented new evidence to Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt.
Among that evidence was an account from a neighbor who claimed he overheard Fallis confess to investigating officer Michael Yates that he shot his wife.
That alleged confession never made it into Yates’ police report.
Neither did an account, said to be given by one of the Fallis’ children, who said she “saw daddy getting the gun ready” and “saw daddy shoot mommy.”
Police reportedly discounted that testimony at the time because the child claimed to have seen or heard three shots, but Ashley Fallis was only shot once.
Michael Yates was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing after an investigation into the matter this summer. He is reportedly still the subject of an internal investigation at the police department.
Brandt requested that nearby Ft. Collins Police Department head up the new investigation into the alleged murder so as to ensure impartiality.
Michael Recht, an attorney for Ashley Fallis’ parents, said Tuesday his clients are “happy that justice is beginning to be done.”
“It's been three difficult years of pushing and never giving up their pursuit of bringing Tom Fallis to justice and they strongly believe that he killed their daughter,” Recht said.
Tom Fallis is in the process of being extradited back to Colorado. When he arrives, he will be charged with second-degree murder.
His three children are in the custody of the state of Indiana. Fox and Raguindin are said to be flying to the state to take custody of their grandchildren.