PROVO — A man accused of killing his wife to claim life insurance money made his first appearance in court Monday.
The hearing came on the heels of Conrad Truman's arrest Friday. That same day, the Orem man was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in 4th District Court.
The charges came almost 10 months after Truman's wife, Heidy, was found dead in the couple's home.
"In a murder case we don't want to have any sort of rush to judgment," prosecutor Craig Johnson said Monday. "'We want to look at all sides and see all theories and all possibilities when someone is killed. The state is confident we can prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. Otherwise we would not have filed it."
Money was Truman's "primary motive" in killing his wife, police and prosecutors say in court documents. Several life insurance policies had been taken out for Heidy Truman, and combined with other benefits, Conrad Truman stood to receive $878,767 in the case of his wife's death, despite her $43,000 annual salary, the charges state.
At the brief hearing Monday, Truman waived a reading of the charges against him and another court date was set for Oct. 28.
Throughout the investigation, Conrad Truman was uncooperative and his stories inconsistent, according to charging documents. He stopped returning phone calls from police, including during a seven-month stretch, and stormed out when officers approached him while he was at work.
"You have questions, well they can wait until I'm ready," Conrad Truman allegedly told police.
Officers found Heidy Truman's body lying nude at the top of the staircase of the couple's home on the night of Sept. 30, 2012.
According to the charges, the dispatcher who took Truman's call reported that Truman would not comply with her requests for information or take her advice for lifesaving measures. "In my experience, the subject was not behaving like someone that wanted life-saving help for his wife at the time," the dispatcher told police.
Truman initially told investigators that he and his wife had been drinking, had exchanged some words but didn't argue, and then Heidy Truman had gone to take a shower. Truman reported hearing a loud pop from near the bathroom, at one point he said he was in the kitchen making a sandwich. Later he said he was in the living room watching TV, the charges state.
Either way, a medical examiner determined the single, direct shot to the head would have made it impossible for Heidy Truman to walk the 12 feet between the bathroom and the place where her body was found. Instead, she would have fallen immediately to the ground, according to the charges.
Truman told a victim advocate he thought his wife had been murdered. He had heard someone yelling outside his home prior to the gunshot, he said, and saw a man "that looked like he was talking to himself" before going back inside, charges state. He told his brother-in-law that a black man had entered the house, and he had seen the man run out just before his wife was shot.
He also suggested on several occasions that the bullet could have come through the bathroom window or the shower wall, but there was no physical evidence to corroborate that theory, according to prosecutors. He later said the shooting was accidental in addition to providing several theories of suicide.Comment on this story
"The inaccuracies of Conrad's multiple stories, the claims of Heidy being murdered, and Conrad seeing a black male run out of his home are blatant examples of Conrad's dishonesty," the charges state.
A woman who said she was Truman's sister said, "He's innocent" at the hearing Monday, but would not provide her name.