Home / US / Ashley Falli's case: "48 Hours" examines the death of the Colorado mother in New Year's shooting

Ashley Falli's case: "48 Hours" examines the death of the Colorado mother in New Year's shooting

Produced by Lindsey Schwartz, Lauren Clark, Alec Sirken, Chuck Stevenson, Chris Ritzen and Doug Longhini.

[This story previously aired on October 22, 2016. It was updated on August 24, 2019.]

EVANS, Colo, "said Jenna Fox.

Jenna Fox and adoptive father Joel Raguindin always suffer the death of their daughter, 28-year-old Ashley Fallis, in the early morning hours of the New Year.

" After she died was, in my opinion, I could not understand that I would not speak to her every day, "Fox said funny about the daughter she described as" lively ̵

1; full of life. "

  Ashley Fallis and her Children
Ashley Fallis and her children

Joel Raguindin

Ashley, it is said, would never leave her three children – Madelynn, Jolie and Blake, all under 10 years old. It is unimaginable.

"She just loved her family and she loved life," Fox told "48 hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty. "She would never do that."

Fox says she and her daughter were extremely close.

"To be honest, they were like best friends," Raguindin said.

Ashley married her high school Sweetheart Shortly after graduation, they had two daughters, but this marriage quickly broke up.In April 2007, she met Tom Fallis, who appeared to be responsible and ready for a family.

"And it seemed like her relationship really progressed quickly, "Raguindin said.

Just months after their relationship, Ashley became pregnant .

" I think there was a way for them to be closer together in all too short time Feeling connected for a while, "said Fox.

They had a son, Blake, who married two weeks after he was born. Soon after, Tom Fallis adopted the girls after their father gave up his parental rights – Ashley's family I felt that everything was moving too fast.

"We were not happy about that and actually did not want to stop Ashley," Raguindin said.

  Tom and Ashley Fallis
Tom and Ashley Fallis

Jenna Fox

Ashley and Tom Fallis knew each other only for a short time. Her parents say that they began to notice disturbing aspects of Tom's personality.

"I did not like it – his mentality – being right all the time and constantly fighting and – the aggression," said Fox. 19659003] Tom and Ashley settled in the small town of Evans, about an hour north of Denver. Ashley worked as a respiratory therapist, and Tom took a job as a correctional officer at the Weld County Sheriff's Office, where he worked in the local jail.

Joel and I thought, "Pfff, this is the perfect job for someone who has done this. An ego that needs to tell people what to do," Fox said, "I think he was a very insecure person and he wanted total control over her. "

"Do you think you were a threat to Tom?" Moriarty asked Fox.

"Absolutely," she replied, "I was the only person against whom he could not isolate Ashley."

Ashley got caught in the middle and pressure only increased when Blake – another toddler – was diagnosed with a chronic brain disease that required Ashley's constant attention, and all this took a heavy toll on Ashley and her marriage.

"Did you ever feel your daughter was depressed at any point?" Moriarty asked.

"No, I think she was worried and she would – have a lot on her plate and – I think was overwhelmed," Fox replied. 19659003] "I would say they were." I'm going through tough times, "said Raguindin.

The stress was so great that they even considered a divorce. But when Tom Fallis talked to the police after Ashley died, he insisted things would get better as the holidays drew near:

Tom Fallis to the police [crying]: We did so well Year & # 39; eve party and Ashley even thought she was pregnant recently.

Tom Fallis to the Police : When we found out she had this positive test, it seemed like we finally got everything over with.

She stopped taking medications for precaution, and then, on the day of the party, Fallis says Ashley started to bleed and thought she had a miscarriage.

Tom Fallis to the police : So somehow she was down today.

But Fallis says they faked the party ahead and as the night passed, Fox said that the friction between her and Fallis came up. "I always knew that Tom hated me," she said. Fallis became furious when he overheard one of the guests, Fox's brother, who offered Ashley marijuana:

Tom Fallis to the police : I told Ashley, "You do not have to come up." I said, "If something happened with the miscarriage today," I said, "It happened." … I thought, do you know what? F — your mother. F — all together. Let it go.

When Fox and Raguindin left the party, they saw Fallis, who was still angry, go into the bedroom and slam the door.

Ashley followed them outside. It was around 12:40 when they said goodbye.

"And how was Ashley's behavior? Was she upset?" Moriarty asked Fox.

"No, she's a bit like," Whatever. "Like" That's normal. This is Tom, "she replied.

" We were the last to see Tom Fallis in a fit of rage, "Raguindin said," a fit of rage. Our daughter hugs us and kisses us goodbye. She stands on the porch and waves goodbye. And that's the last thing we've seen of our daughter. "

Ashley's autopsy shows she did not smoke marijuana that night, but Fallis says Ashley defiantly entered the bedroom after putting the children to bed

Tom Fallis to the Police : It's like "F — you." If I want to come up, I'll come up. "… I say," Do whatever you want. "

As Fallis said, he was in her closet to change clothes when he suddenly heard the sound of a gun being loaded from across the room. [19659031] Tom Fallis to the Police : She has a .9mm bull, she holds it under her mattress … She was behind the side of the bed, she was poor.

He says it all happened so fast He was on his way out of the closet – closed the door and asked Ashley what she was doing – when he heard a "bang."

Tom Fallis to the police : I heard that and there was smoke. I just ran to her and just grabbed her head and I held her head and I reached for her cell phone and dialed 911.

Tom Fallis to 911 : "You stay here! You do not leave me! You do not leave me!

Tom Fallis – Panic Call at 911

This 911 call arrived at the police at 00:50

. And I opened my eyes and started I said, "I – I am here. You do not leave me. You will not leave me. "

It was only 10 minutes after Ashley's family left.

" Literally two patrol cars came into the neighborhood. We were between the two when we made a U-turn. It was shocking. And it all happened so fast, "Raguindin said.

Joel Raguindin and Jenna Fox did not see Ashley until they arrived at the hospital Ashley had a severe brain trauma from a bullet wound on her head.

" Did you have to say goodbye? "Asked Moriarty.

" Yes. Yes. Yeah, I do not know how you say goodbye, "Fox replied.

" I'll only ask you with an empty mind, do you think your daughter committed suicide? "

"No. Not at all. No, "said Fox Alive, we always knew that Tom Fallis had killed her," said Raguindin.


In the early hours of New Year 2012, officials from the Evans Police Department responded quickly to the Fallis call. The video of the scene was filmed by first responders.

Evans is a peaceful, crime-poor community, says police chief Rick Brandt.

"I do not think we were armed – maybe one or two armed robberies here since I've been here for almost eight years," Chief Brandt said.

Although Tom called Fallis as a suicide bomber, the police picked him up for an interview in the early morning while his parents watched the children. The investigators were immediately suspicious because the neighbors said they heard screams. Fallis was interviewed by Detective Rita Wolf:

Det. Wolf : Then she tells you to get rid of her.

Tom Fallis : I was not with her.

Det. Wolf : So somebody invents that, Tom?

Tom Fallis : My wife never advised me to break away from her.

Det. Wolf : And so, when you went upstairs and argued with her. The wound at the back of her head is not the place she could do it herself, Tom. It is not.

Tom Fallis [pounding table]: Oh bulls —! Bulls — Bulls — Bulls —! I did not shoot my wife!

The investigators also searched his body and noticed scratches on his chest. Fallis says he scratched himself:

Tom Fallis to the police : Because I just shaved my chest. I just shaved it because I've never done it before. I sit there and go with my shirt. Because it itches, it's scratching.

Fallis gets increasingly excited when Wolf asks:

Tom Fallis : You accuse me of killing my wife. I should not get upset? That makes no sense …

Det. Wolf : They were upset before.

Tom Fallis : Yes, because I was here the whole time.

Det. Wolf : It is known that you blow off the handle, it is said.

Tom Fallis : I did not shoot Ashley. I did not shoot my wife. I did not shoot the mother of my children.

Colorado man interviewed by police after his wife's death.

The police also found evidence raising questions about Tom's version of events: images seem to have been torn off the wall, suggesting divorce papers were found on the dresser in the fight, Ashley had bruises on his legs, and Fallis was been angry at the end of the party.

"How angry was he at this time?" Moriarty asked Fox.

"He was very angry, very angry. I mean, he said: "I wish you all would die," she answered.

Det. Wolf : They were angry at the fact that she was listening to her mother.

Tom Fallis : I already told you that.

Det. Wolf : Yes.

After being interrogated that first morning, Fallis was released without charge. [19659003] "Did you expect Tom to be charged?" Moriarty asked.

"Yes. Oh yes, we were shocked. We were shocked that they let him go, "Raguindin said.

Despite her concerns and evidence suggesting a possible murder, the coroner decided that Ashley's death was a suicide January 5 – four days after it happened and, before the forensic tests were completed, the case was officially closed two months later.

"… The fact is, if there was evidence of a probable cause for Tom, we would have arrested him," Brandt Moriarty said. 19659003] Ashley's parents could hardly believe it.

"She would never believe it," Fox explained, "She has a mission for Blake."

With Tom Fallis without any fees, he moved with his children Indiana, to attend graduate school, Ashley's parents had lost their daughter, but they also did not want to lose their grandchildren, so they had a relationship with Tom.

"He's in one with my grandchildren other state. It's crazy, "Raguindin said," and we continue what we have to do because our love for our grandchildren is much, much greater and more powerful than the hate we have on Tom Fallis. "

But then, Two years later, an unexpected turn came in. A local television news reporter started his own investigation.

"It is not very common to confess someone to murder and get away with it," said Justin Joseph.

FALLEN? [19659063] In early 2014, Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin were still convinced that their son-in-law Tom Fallis had murdered her daughter Ashley after the 2012 New Year party.

"How would you describe the last two? Years? "Erin Moriarty asked Fox.

" It's definitely a roller coaster ride. It's hard to grieve, "she replied.

" But why would he kill her? "Moriarty asked.

" Out of anger, "Fox explained," I think it's a high probability because of the divorce papers

But the Evans Police Department ruled Ashley's death as suicide and closed the case, and it remained closed until reporter Justin Joseph got a call.

"I had a source at The law enforcement authorities who called me said, "There is something wrong in this case," said Joseph, who is also an adviser to CBS News.

Joseph spent months investigating and interrogating neighbors who had spoken to the police first. In April 2014, he got a big break:

A young neighbor, Nick Glover, told Joseph something about Tom Fallis that was not in the police reports.

"I saw him go out, so we all crouched down Under the windowsill, his parents were outside and he said, 'Omigod, I can not believe I did it,' three or four times … And then said his parents: "What? What do you say? "And I remember saying to him …: I shot her & # 39;" he said to Joseph.

Nick Glover said he told Evans Police Officer Michael Yates.

"And he said:" Detective Yates was sitting right where you were sitting and listening to my story and wrote everything down, "Joseph said to Moriarty.

And then Joseph reported confirming Glover's story. The deputy sheriff on-site contacted two years later to tell the investigators that he also heard Fallis say he shot Ashley.

Nick Glover's mother, Kathy Glover, also spoke to Joseph and told him that she had received a call from another neighbor that night – a teenager named Chelsey Arrigo.

"And she said," Yes, Chelsey called me that night and said, "Tell me, you called the police, your neighbor just shot his wife. "Yates's official police report, he writes that Kathy Glover told him that Arrigo said," Your neighbor just shot herself "- a big discrepancy.

" The Glovers were never offered an opportunity They believed for two years that their statements were recorded correctly, and they felt that the Evans police department simply refused prosecution. That's why they were just as shocked as they all learned that the statements were omitted and changed "I think it's a question of one person's word against another," Chief Brandt told Moriarty. "To date, Officer Yates insists that Nick Glover never told him that he actually overheard Tom Fallis saying he shot his wife?" Moriarty asked.

"That's right," said Brandt.

"What about Kathy Glover's claim that she was called and said," I hope you called the police, your neighbor just shot his wife. "Did the witness actually say so to Officer Yates?"

"Not according to Officer Yates," Brandt told Moriarty.

Nevertheless, Chief Brandt can not explain why his officers did not conduct a follow-up interview with Chelsey Arrigo. They knew from the first night that she heard Ashley yell, "Get away from me."

"But Chelsey Arrigo was an asshole," Moriarty said.

"It was you," Brandt agreed.

"And she did not go back and interview her. Why not? "Moriarty asked."

"I can not answer that. But I think that was a mistake, "Brandt answered.

" A serious mistake, is not it? "Moriarty squeezed.

" I would agree with that, "Brandt said.

Ashley's parents believe that Omissions are part of a cover-up by Evans Police.

"The Evans Police Department decided to cover their deaths as suicides from the beginning," Raguindin said, "Now the big question is, why?"

Chief Brandt insists that there was no cover-up – that his officers made only a few mistakes.

"There is this claim that there was some kind of cover-up. Okay, when that happens, somebody will find it, "he said," As far as I know none of this has happened. "

  fallisclues.jpg" height = "346" width = "620" class = "lazyload" srcset = "https://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2015/04/10/c03b50c2-6c0c -4602-93b6-48d7c4d1e4c3/ thumbnail / 620x346 / a1a30f0b1b19d720e772f93bf36491b9 / fallisclues.jpg 1x thumbnail / 1240x692 / 6ea3a2dae35e583b01fcebede7361d1c / fallisclues.jpg 2x "srcset =" data: image / svg + xml,% 3Csvg% 20xmlns% 3D & # 39; http% 3A% 2F% 2Fwww.w3.org% 2F2000% 2F 0% 200% 20620% 20346 & # 39 ;% 2F% 3E "/> </span><figcaption class= After the Shots in the Couple's Bedroom

Brandt can not really explain why his department was shut down so quickly – just days after Ashley's death – that she committed suicide, especially if there were so many clues pointing to a bad game.

The pictures, the divorce papers – numerous witnesses at the party reported that he was angry that night.

"Not all of these contradictions are very disturbing?" Moriarty asked the police chief.

"I'm not so well informed about cases I get a kind of overviews, briefings Where we are So much of the detail you're talking about now, after you've reviewed it, yes – these questions yourself, "Brandt of Investigation said, seeking support and later stopping their own investigation.

"So that's a really important question, why should you close the case if your lab results are still pending?" Moriarty Brandt asked.

"I think that was a mistake, I do not think you can close a case when lab results are outstanding," he replied.

"So why was he shut down?"

"I can not answer that question," Brandt replied.

"But this is your department," Moriarty noted.

"It's my department, but I'm not investigating," he said, until Justin Joseph's reports were published two years later.

"You know, the first time I became aware of problems or problems with this case was when Fox 31 called me for an interview, and frankly, this is the first time I've been reviewing the report extensively." , he said.

Justin Joseph's report reopened and investigated the case of a major neighboring police station in Fort Collins, all with the full participation of Chief Brandt.

"This new information includes alleged eye and ear diseases that we did not previously know and that are serious enough to warrant further investigation of this case." Chief Brandt turned to Reporters.

"I feel like relief, it was a lot of work, but I'm really relieved," Fox said, "I mean, it does not bring Ashley back in any way, but I think I just want the truth there outside. "19659003] What did Tom Fallis think of the developments? Joseph surprised him during a return trip to the region:

Justin Joseph : I wonder if we could talk to you about the death of your wife.

Tom Fallis : I'm not talking to you about it – the investigation has already been carried out and the investigation has already been declared over.

Oddly enough, Fallis produced for the police more than two years after her death. What he said were suicide notes written by Ashley. One said:

"Dear Tom … I'm sorry for your pain … I'm a failure in everything … I find that I do not even like my kids, I love them, I can just make this life easy no longer endure. "

" I think the strangest thing about these letters is that when … we were told that it was a suicide, those letters never turned up. These letters have been received recently, "Fox said." If an investigation were going to run for me and I had information, I would … hand you over to the police at that point. "

" What I like to do is truth and justice " Raguindin added, "I want Tom to be charged with murdering my daughter."

  Tom and Ashley Fallis
Tom and Ashley Fallis

Family photo

In November 2014, Tom Fallis was indicted by a large jury for murdering his wife. The next day, he was arrested in Indiana. After three years of freedom, when Fallis thought this was all over, he suddenly found himself in jail and separated from his children, who were now cared for by his parents.

"… it was like a prayer answered and a weight just taken off," Raguindin said about Fallis' arrest. "And only to feel that justice has taken place."

In March 2016, the process begins. Tom Fallis is ready to vigorously defend himself.


With their first words to the jury, Iris Eytan's defender, Tom Fallis, came out and fought for her client.

"Tom Fallis did not kill his wife and mother of her three children " told the court. "Ashley Fallis committed suicide on January 1, 2012," she told the court. "Ashley Fallis was a beautiful woman, but she had terrible pain inside … She had documented mental illness, was impulsive and self-destructive, and shot herself at the moment of her crisis with her own pistol."

And, surprisingly, The Defense used the prosecution's witnesses to discuss their arguments: Ashley, who was already a volatile personality, drank a lot during the night of the party.

"She was drunk, she had just had a miscarriage, she was a pressure cooker." Eytan went on trial.

Ashley's uncle, who had been cross-examined by another defender, admitted that there was suicide in the family: [196909031] Dru Nielsen : Both your mother and your brother died from a shot they took even had wounds on the head.

John Schmitzer : That's right.

Ashley's therapist, dr. Russell Johnson, told the jury that he does not consider them a danger to himself:

Prosecutor Ben Whitney : When you met her in December 2011, did she seem depressed?

Russell Johnson : No, she does not.

Prosecutor Ben Whitney : Did she commit suicide for you?

Russell Johnson : No, she does not.

But as Dr. Johnson was pushed by the defense, he admits that he was not informed about all the drugs that Ashley took – including prescriptions that she had received from other doctors.

Defense lawyer Iris Eytan : … you did not really know how many tablets of Seroquel you took in December 2011, right?

Russell Johnson : No.

Ashley apparently withheld other important information from the doctor, including the alleged suicide notes she had written to Tom:

Defender Iris Eytan : And you did not know … That she had a second July 24 suicide letter Wrote in 2011, right? She did not tell you that, did she?

Russell Johnson : No.

Defender Iris Eytan : Would all these things, Dr. Ing. Johnson, your thinking about Mrs. Fallis & # 39; mental state change?

Dr. Russell Johnson : Yes.

But when questioned by prosecutor Ben Whitney, Jenna Fox repeated what she and her husband Joel Raguindin had been saying all along: that Ashley was fine throughout the party, and Tom the one who broke out at the end of the night.

Jenna Fox : He came up the stairs and stepped right in front of me and told me that he hated us all and wished we all would die. "And went into her bedroom and slammed the door.

Prosecutor Ben Whitney : How was Ashley's behavior?

Jenna Fox : She seemed to be doing well It just seemed frustrated, maybe embarrassed.

And there are those key words that Justin Joseph spoke to after Ashley's death: Nick Glover, the neighbor who said he confessed to Tom Fallis, told the jury that he was very upset clearly remembers everything.

Nick Glover : What I heard as he said, "Oh my god. Oh my God. What have I done? Oh my God, what have I done? "And he went on to say," I shot my wife. "[194559003] Prosecutor Anthea Carrasco : How sure are you or not, that voice that You hear the voice of Tom Fallis you see in this quarter of your driveway? [19659003] Nick Glover : I – 100 percent … I would not forget that or not hear it and do not remember it. [19659034] But Tom's parents dispute that any conversation ever took place.

Defender Dru Nielsen : Did you ever hear Tom confess at that time? To shoot Ashley?

Jim Fallis : Never.

And others who were right there with Nick tonight said they had not heard it, too.Nick's mom, Kathy Glover, told the jury about the call she had from neighbor Chelsey Arrigo

" When I answered the phone said she: & # 39; Please tell me you called the police. … because your neighbor just shot his wife, "said Kathy Glover.

But their story is undercut when Chelsey arrives at the position of herself and says she does not even remember the phone call:

Chelsey Arrigo : I only remember arguments. But that was it's.

Prosecutor Ben Whitney : Do you remember certain statements?

Chelsey Arrigo : No.

Prosecutor Ben Whitney : Remember that you told Kathy Glover in a telephone conversation on the same early morning: "I heard her scream: Leave me. Go from me. "

Chelsey Arrigo : I do not.

She admits to having been drunk that night and does not confirm any of the significant statements that the investigators made after the shootings. Even so, Chris Graves, deputy sheriff of Weld County, says he saw Tom Fallis confess to killing Ashley.

"I heard him scream:" I can not believe I shot her. "" I can not believe she's dead, "Graves said.

But its reliability as a witness, is also called into question when he admits he did not notify his superiors until two years later The shootout – after the case was reopened:

Prosecutor Anthea Carrasco : … write a report on what you've heard?

Chris Graves : No, ma'am. … It was Evans case.

Prosecutor Anthea Carrasco : Did you Do it?

Chris Graves : Definitely.

Forensic testimony from the night of the shootings is crucial, and state expert Dan Gilliam, who studied the case for 400 hours, explains Jury, where Ashley's head had been, as the deadly shot ss was fired.

"She must be down in that position – somewhere like that," Gilliam explained as he leaned on his knees in a model of the Fallis bedroom. "… the tail that goes through my head must mit dieser Rute übereinstimmen."

Doch im Kreuzverhör scheint seine Schlussfolgerung nicht den Fall der Staatsanwaltschaft zu begünstigen, sondern die Verteidigung:

Verteidigerin Iris Eytan ]: Das wahrscheinlichste Ergebnis von Ashley Fallis &#39;Kopfschuss war , dass er sich selbst zugefügt hat, richtig?

Dan Gilliam : Ich glaube schon.

Verteidiger Iris Eytan : Also Selbstmord? Richtig?

Dan Gilliam : Ja.

Um dem entgegenzuwirken, ruft die Staatsanwaltschaft einen zweiten, national renommierten Forensiker, Jon Priest, an, der der Jury mitteilt, dass er das Gegenteil festgestellt hat – diesen Tom musste in der Nähe von Ashley sein, als sie ers chossen wurde.

"Meine endgültige Meinung ist, dass Tom und Ashley Fallis zu dem Zeitpunkt, als der Schuss abgefeuert wurde, in Kontakt miteinander oder in der Nähe voneinander waren", sagte Priester aus.

Priester schlägt der Jury vor, dass die Beweise dies belegen zwei von ihnen hätten kämpfen können, als die Waffe losging.

"Wir könnten uns über diese Waffe streiten, bis ich sie gegen ihren Kopf gezogen habe und mit Schreien drohe, was auch immer", erklärte Priest und demonstrierte im Modell des Schlafzimmers. "Ich könnte es hier haben, sie könnte nach oben greifen und es zum Zeitpunkt der Entlassung nehmen. Die Waffe geht aus, ich könnte die Waffe fallen lassen, sie in meine Hüfte ziehen, um diesen Fleck zu erzeugen und dann wieder hier runter auf die Boden. "

Also, war es Mord? Oder hat Ashley Fallis sich das Leben genommen? Angesichts widersprüchlicher Theorien muss die Jury die oft widersprüchlichen Beweise abwägen.

"Hatte sie in ihrer Vergangenheit Probleme? Sicher. Haben Sie viele Leute? Auf jeden Fall. Heißt das, sie hat Selbstmord begangen? Nein", wandte sich Staatsanwalt Anthea Carrasco an das Gericht. "Ihr ging es gut … Er ist in Wut. … Das ist der Mann, der in diesem Haus war. Das ist, was in seinem Kopf vorgeht, das ist, was in seinem Herzen vorgeht, und das ist die Person, die mit Ashley Fallis in diesem Schlafzimmer war. "

" Sie müssen beweisen, dass er ihre Waffe hatte, ohne vernünftigen Zweifel. Sie hielten eine Waffe an ihren Kopf, ohne vernünftigen Zweifel. Und drückten den Abzug, ohne vernünftigen Zweifel. "Iris Eytan erzählte den Geschworenen.

Tom Fallis &#39;Zukunft hängt von der Schwebe ab.

Ein Urteil.

" Ich hatte das Gefühl, ihn im Gerichtssaal zu sehen – wir hatten einen Hoffnungsschimmer für Gerechtigkeit diente ", sagte Joel Raguindin.

 Tom Fallis vor Gericht während seines Prozesses
Tom Fallis während seines Prozesses wegen des Mordes an seiner Frau 2012, Ashley

Als Hauptzeugen für die Anklage wurden Ashleys Eltern not allowed to view much of the trial outside of their own testimony. But from what they heard from those inside the courtroom, the case against Tom Fallis might not be the slam dunk they thought it would be.

But Jenna and Joel remained hopeful as the case went to the jury; however, they soon got a jolt.

"The jurors were out how long?" Moriarty asked.

"Three-and-a-half hours," Fox replied.

"Three-and-a-half hours, and an hour of that was their lunch," said Raguindin.

"Did that seem right, three-and-a-half hours?" Moriarty asked.

"No," said Raguindin.

Four years after Ashley&#39;s death, the judge read the jury&#39;s decision:

Judge: We the jury find the defendant Thomas Fallis not guilty of murder in the second degree and all lesser included offense.

Tom Fallis was free.

"Tell me that moment when you heard the verdict," said Moriarty

"Shock," said Raguindin. "I was just, like, here – &#39;Tom just got away with murder again,&#39;" said Fox.

For Ashley&#39;s parents, the speed of the verdict made it even worse.

"To me, they&#39;re talkin&#39; about the — the life of my daughter and the well-bein&#39; of my grandchildren. And for them to make that decision — " said Raguindin.

"That quickly—" Moriarty said.

"–is sickening to me. It really is. It&#39;s– it&#39;s– it&#39;s haunting," he continued.

"It is a lot of information. That you could spend three-and-a-half hours not — I don&#39;t get it. I really don&#39;t get it," said Fox.

Two of the jurors, Dillon Pierce and Davana Mijares, were willing to explain their verdict.

"I did realize immediately that — there are lives at stake here. Not only Tom&#39;s life, but the children as well," Mijares told Moriarty. "…if he was guilty I was looking for that. …I looked at him, I studied him and I just couldn&#39;t see it. But I did want to find him guilty if he did it … I wanted to be that voice for Ashley if he did it."

Jurors describe their verdict in the Tom Fallis murder trial

But jurors say that in the isolation of the courtroom, the case seemed straightforward. They believed Ashley Fallis was in a dire mental state, which led her to take her own life.

"Was this a case of reasonable doubt for you all? Is this just there wasn&#39;t enough evidence to go, or are you absolutely convinced you know what happened?" Moriarty asked the jurors.

"I&#39;m convinced," said Dillon Pierce.

"I think it was a perfect storm just waiting to happen," said Mijares.

Mijares believes, though, that the truth of what happened may not have been what either side presented in the courtroom.

"I think that the argument that they had that night was probably a little bit more intense. …But I don&#39;t think that he did it. …I don&#39;t think that he actually pulled the trigger," Mijares continued. "There was nothing there that said Tom was holding the gun. I just – I — I just couldn&#39;t put it there."

And, they question how the case even made it to trial.

"I don&#39;t think there was enough evidence to reopen the case. I think the case was reopened just due to … pressure from the media," said Mijares.

"I feel that&#39;s what Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin were out to do," Pierce said. "They were out to get justice for Ashley. …They needed some media attention to reopen the case."

"For me, my job as a reporter were to get as many facts out there and to get those to the jury. …And I certainly have no regrets about the integrity of our reporting," Justin Joseph said. "But in the end … the police department and the Weld County Sheriff did not do their jobs the night this happened … they didn&#39;t have what they needed to … be able to decide whether or not Tom Fallis pulled the trigger. …And from that standpoint, the jury made the right decision."

Fallis case: Local reporter on becoming part of the story

Tom Fallis declined to speak with "48 Hours."

The verdict changes nothing for Ashley&#39;s family. They still believe Ashley would never take her own life and leave her children behind.

"Is it at all possible that she just — after her husband got so angry with you she just couldn&#39;t handle the stress and she took her life?" Moriarty asked Ashley&#39;s parents.

Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin
Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin speak out to "48 Hours"

"No way," Raguindin replied. "Absolutely not."

"I don&#39;t think so," Fox said. "No."

As they wrestled with their frustrations after the verdict, Ashley&#39;s parents could barely contain their emotions during their interview with Moriarty …

"I know you&#39;re pissed, but don&#39;t…" Fox said to Raguindin. "I&#39;m f—–g pissed goddamnit," he replied and left the room.

…especially because of how they believe their daughter was portrayed in court.

"They made her look bad by callin&#39; her a spitfire, and this jury fell for it?" Fox said in tears. "They were up there callin&#39; her a spitfire like it was this bad thing. And it just — that&#39;s what he used to call me — &#39;My spitfire—&#39;"

"It&#39;s a person—it&#39;s a person who loves life, has a passion for life," said Raguindin.

"I think Jenna Fox is– is angry, understandably," said Mijares.

"She doesn&#39;t have any power in this situation. She keeps looking for this — for a way to take back control of what&#39;s happening. And there&#39;s no power… and that — that sucks," said Pierce.

"I mean, I&#39;m going to say — we&#39;re not parents in denial. I mean, that&#39;s just not the case," said Fox.

"Every day this is the battle, is that — we live with — we&#39;re having to live with what the jurors came up with and it is not easy. But we are also — we, me and Jenna, are both fighters.  And the truth is the truth. And it always will be in our minds, in our hearts," an emotional Raguindin said.

Ashley and Blake Fallis
Ashley and Blake Fallis

Joel Raguindin


What lies ahead for their relationship with their three grandchildren – now back in Tom&#39;s care – remains unclear, but they are committed to preserving Ashley&#39;s memory in the childrens&#39; minds.

"Madelynn, Jolie and Blake, I wanna talk to you about your mother. She loved you guys wholeheartedly—wholeheartedly," Joel Raguindin said. "She loved life … And that — because she loved life so much, Erin, that&#39;s why I know that my daughter would never take her own life."          

The children remain in Tom Fallis&#39; custody in Indiana.

Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin now have visitation rights.

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