Rocky Mountain National Park homicide?
First Degree murder charges were filed Wednesday against a Highlands Ranch man in the death of his wife in Rocky Mountain National Park in 2012.
Harold Henthorn has been charged with first degree murder by a federal grand jury in Denver. Special agents with the National Park Service (NPS) and the FBI, with support from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Henthorn without incident at his home Thursday morning.
According to the indictment, on or about Sept. 29, 2012, while in Rocky Mountain National Park, Harold Henthorn willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation and malice aforethought did unlawfully kill Toni Henthorn.
The indictment charge is merely an allegation and Mr. Henthorn is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A conviction of First Degree murder carries a mandatory term of life in federal prison without the possibility of parole, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. The death penalty can be applied in cases of first degree murder in Colorado.
“The National Park Service is always concerned for the protection of our visitors,” said Mark Magnuson, Rocky Mountain National Park Chief Ranger. “When a violent crime such as this occurs in a national park, one of our nation’s most treasured places, we work hard to ensure that those responsible are held accountable and the victim and the victim’s family are afforded justice. In this case, we will continue to work closely with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office toward a just resolution.”
According to reports by the Denver Post, authorities found Toni Henthorn’s body on the north side of Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Investigators determined she fell to her death on steep and rocky terrain from a height of 40 to 50 feet. The incident occurred while she was hiking in the park with her husband Harold Henthorn.
Toni Henthorn was the second wife of Harold Henthorn to die prematurely. According to the Denver Post his first wife, Sandra Henthorn, died in 1995 after being crushed to death by a car that slipped off a jack while she and Harold were changing a flat tire. The Post reported the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that Sandra Henthorn apparently was reaching under the car to help Harold change a front tire.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office stated there is an open and active investigation into Sandra Henthorn’s death at this time.
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