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Orem man accused of killing wife was happily married, sister says

Published December 12, 2013 11:48 am

Courts • Conrad Truman is accused of killing his wife, Heidy Truman, in 2012.
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Provo • Conrad Mark Truman is accused of fatally shooting his wife last year to collect nearly a million dollars in life insurance benefits.

But Truman's sister testified Thursday during the second day of a preliminary hearing that her brother told her that he was unaware of the large insurance policies, and never said he wanted or needed money.

"They had everything," Colette Dahl testified. "They went on vacations, they had multiple cars. He bought her presents. He bought her flowers."

Dahl testified Thursday that her brother and his wife, Heidy Truman, had met with a retirement planner and had made plans for the future, as a normal couple would do, but she said Truman told her he didn't know that he stood to collect about $878,000 in insurance and other inheritances after his wife died.

The couple was happily married, Dahl testified, so it didn't make sense to her that her brother would shoot and kill Heidy Truman on Sept. 30, 2012.

"My brother loved her so much," Dahl tearfully testified. "... He always counted himself lucky [to be married to her]."

Conrad Truman, 31, is charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice for the Sept. 30, 2012 death of 25-year-old Heidy Truman.

The preliminary hearing — where a judge will decide if there is enough probable cause for Conrad Truman to stand trial on the charges — began last week.

On Thursday, 4th District Judge Samuel McVey made no ruling on whether Truman's case will go to trial, opting instead to give Truman's attorney more time to look over the evidence. Attorneys will make their arguments about the bindover in front of the judge on Dec. 23.

According to charging documents, Conrad Truman claimed someone else shot his wife through the window of their Orem home. But Dahl, along with a number of police officers, have testified that there was no bullet hole in a window or anywhere at their home that would indicate she was shot by someone outside.

Orem police Detective Tom Wallace testified Thursday that the shot that killed Heidy Truman came from Conrad Truman's gun. However, the state crime lab could not identify any definitive fingerprints on the gun, Wallace testified.

Conrad Truman also allegedly told police in an interview that his wife may have committed suicide. Wallace testified on Thursday that a post on the man's Facebook page gave yet another explanation as to how his wife died.

"It was a complete freak accident," Wallace read from a printed copy of Conrad Truman's Facebook page. "She had a gun in her hand and slipped."

Autopsy reports show Heidy Truman was shot in the head with a pistol that had been pressed hard against the side of her head. In the house, police found blood everywhere — in the kitchen where Heidy Truman's naked body lay, in the front entry, the living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and on Truman himself.

Despite the evidence, however, Truman told investigators that he was in another room when his wife was shot. The two had bickered that night, and she went into the bathroom to take a shower, he allegedly told police. He said that she finished showering about 20 minutes later, while he was watching TV in the living room. Then, according to his initial account recorded by police, Truman heard a loud pop and saw his wife walk out from the bathroom area and collapse on the kitchen floor.

Conrad Truman called 911, and Heidy Truman was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller