A Colorado man accused of killing his wife after she fell off a cliff while hiking with him in a national park in 2012 pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday afternoon.
Harold Henthorn did not speak in the Denver federal court during the first session of the day, but sat beside his attorney while wearing a khaki jumpsuit and his wedding ring.
Authorities confirmed last week that they had also launched an investigation into the 1995 death of his first wife, Sandra Henthorn. Sandra, then 38, died when a jack slipped while she and her husband were changing a flat tire and their car crushed her to death.
Henthorn was not charged with his second wife Toni’s 2012 death until last week, after police said they determined that they have enough evidence to argue that it was not an accident.
“Mr. Henthorn was the only person in deserted areas in both of his wives’ deaths,” U.S. Attorney Blair Spencer said in court Wednesday.
When asked by the judge if he had enough money to pay for bond, Henthorn’s attorney, Craig Truman, said that he would be getting financial help from family and friends because he has not had “steady employment” for years.
Concerns about Henthorn’s financial standing were raised by Dana Chamberlain, an auditor in the economic crime section of the U.S. Attorney’s office who reviewed his tax returns and bank accounts for the case. She said that Henthorn had told friends that he worked as a fundraiser for nonprofits, but there was no money trail to support that claim.
Toni Henthorn had three $1.5 million life insurance policies in her name at the time of the accident, authorities said. Though the Special Administrator of the Estate noted that a claim was made for one of those policies just two days after she fell 140 feet to her death — on the same morning that her autopsy was being performed — that money was never paid.
Chamberlain noted that Harold Henthorn has not received any payments as a result of Toni’s life insurance policies, but he did get $495,000 from his first wife’s policy following her 1995 death.
Truman reminded the court that “claims on Sandra’s death were paid after the Douglas County Sheriff investigation was over,” but did not mention anything about the sheriff’s office decision to reopen the investigation following Toni’s death.
“I’m sure when all the facts are known in this difficult and complex case, justice will be done,” Truman told ABC News after his client’s arrest Thursday.
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