Homicide

Man accused of killing wife by pushing her off cliff in Colorado national park to be in court

  • This undated photograph provided by the Bertolet family shows Harold Henthorn and his wife, Toni. This week, a federal grand jury indicted Harold Henthorn on a charge of first-degree murder more than two years after his wife, Toni, tumbled face first to her death off a ledge in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. (AP Photo/Bertolet Family)

    This undated photograph provided by the Bertolet family shows Harold Henthorn and his wife, Toni. This week, a federal grand jury indicted Harold Henthorn on a charge of first-degree murder more than two years after his wife, Toni, tumbled face first to her death off a ledge in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. (AP Photo/Bertolet Family)  (The Associated Press)

  • This undated photograph provided by the Bertolet family shows Toni Henthorn. Harold Henthorn, Toni's husband, was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on a charge of first-degree murder more than two years after his wife fell to her death in Rocky Mountain National Park. (AP Photo/Bertolet Family)

    This undated photograph provided by the Bertolet family shows Toni Henthorn. Harold Henthorn, Toni's husband, was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on a charge of first-degree murder more than two years after his wife fell to her death in Rocky Mountain National Park. (AP Photo/Bertolet Family)  (The Associated Press)

Lawyers will argue Wednesday whether a man accused of pushing his wife off a cliff to her death in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park as they celebrated their wedding anniversary should remain in jail.

The federal detention hearing comes after Harold Henthorn, 58, was indicted last week on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Toni Henthorn, 50.

An autopsy report says she fell or was pushed over the ledge when she paused to take a photo during a hike on Sept. 29, 2012. The couple was visiting the park for their 12th wedding anniversary.

Only after her death did Toni Henthorn's relatives realize she was covered by three life insurance policies totaling $4.5 million. A claim was sent in for one policy days after she died, court records show.

Harold Henthorn's attorney, Craig L. Truman, has said that the case is complicated and that "justice will be done" once the facts come to light.

Toni Henthorn was an ophthalmologist with her own practice in Jackson, Mississippi, when she met her husband, who told her he was wealthy and persuaded her to move with him to the Denver suburb of Highland Ranch, her brother, Todd Bertolet told The Associated Press.

But once in Colorado, he seemed controlling and obsessed with money, Bertolet said.

Toni Henthorn's relatives were not convinced her husband owned his own business, even though he would take regular work trips without explanation.

Bertolet said Harold Henthorn was reluctant to talk about the death of his first wife, Sandra Lynn Henthorn, 30, who was crushed to death in 1995 when a car slipped off a jack while she and Harold were changing a flat tire.

Authorities said they are still investigating that case.

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Follow Sadie Gurman at http://twitter.com/sgurman .