Pot v. Miscarriage in Tom Fallis Acquittal: "You...Wanted to Get Her F*cking High!"

In late 2014, we told you about the arrest of Tom Fallis, on charges related to the death in Weld County of his wife, Ashley Fallis, who was originally thought to have committed suicide.

More than a year later, Tom went on trial, and so did the prosecutors' theory that Tom killed Ashley after an argument over smoking marijuana, then staged the scene to make it seem as if she'd shot herself.

In the end, however, the jury acquitted Tom, whose attorneys argued that Ashley took her life because she was mentally ill and distraught over a miscarriage on New Year's Eve 2011.

The defense team's version of events suggested that the marijuana fight was incidental to a suicide rather than the triggering event that caused Tom to murder Ashley. But quotes from the spat as delivered by prosecutors were undeniably vivid.

In the beginning, as we reported in our original post, authorities determined that Ashley had killed herself early on January 1, 2012.

But the case began to show cracks in 2014 courtesy of Fox31, which raised questions about an Evans police detective suspected of altering evidence in the case.

Specifically, a neighbor said Tom told him he'd killed Ashley — and while the neighbor passed that information along to the detective, the statement didn't appear in arrest reports.

Moreover, the detective is said to have known Tom, a former policeman.

Prosecutors ultimately decided they didn't have enough evidence to charge the Evans detective with covering up a crime.

However, the investigation into Ashley's death was reopened thanks to pressure from Ashley's family.

Months of investigation later, an indictment was handed down in Tom's name, complete with an account of the prosecutors' scenario on the fateful night.

The indictment, also shared here, states that Tom and Ashley hosted a New Year's party attended by fifteen to twenty people, including Ashley's parents, plus an aunt and uncle. Then, around 12:30 a.m., Ashley reportedly said she was going to go outside to "have a smoke"

At that point, Tom allegedly "became irate at the belief that she was going to smoke marijuana."

A heated argument followed, the indictment maintains, and the assorted party attendees left. Then, prosecutors said, Tom "obtained a Taurus 9mm handgun" while with Ashley in the bedroom "and during the struggle, held the gun to the right side of Ashley's head and pulled the trigger."

After that, the document continues, "he lowered Ashley to the floor, began holding her head, and called 911 to report that Ashley shot herself in the head."

In November 2014, Tom was arrested in Bloomington, Indiana, where he'd moved with the couple's kids.

The following March, we detailed a lawsuit filed by Ashley's parents against the Evans Police Department over the alleged coverup. That claim is still alive, as noted in a Fox31 piece from earlier this month also seen here.

But efforts to prove that Tom killed Ashley fell short despite a vigorous prosecution kicked off by what 7News described as a dramatic opening statement.

In her address to the jury, Weld County Deputy District Attorney Anthea Carrasco quoted Tom as yelling "You guys wanted to get her fucking high!"at Ashley's family as she was dying in the bedroom.

"He stormed back up those stairs, looked at her family and yelled, "Get the fuck out of my house. I fucking hate you," 7News quoted Carrasco as saying. "And he walks into the master bedroom and slams the door."

At that point, around 12:45 a.m., Carrasco said Ashley's family left — but a minute later, they sent a text expressing concern for the couple's children.

Four minutes after that, she continued, Ashley was shot.

The alternate theory about what happened was presented by defense attorney Iris Eytan, who said Ashley "was a beautiful woman, but she had a terrible pain inside. She was mentally ill. She was taking medication for anxiety, sleep disorder and depression."

Adding to her sadness, Eytan argued, was the discovery earlier on December 31 that she wasn't pregnant, as she'd thought.

The attorney said Ashley's tubes had been tied following the birth of her youngest child, but they'd grown back together.

However, a possible pregnancy had been disproven by two tests taken after she'd started to bleed.

Eytan suggested that Ashley had been drinking heavily at the party and was about to add marijuana to the mix when Tom objected. She reacted by grabbing Tom's gun and using it to kill herself — and although Tom tried his best to save her life, he was unable to do so.

The jury eventually determined that the prosecutors hadn't proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Tom was a murderer — and he walked from the courtroom a free man, with custody of the kids he'd fathered with Ashley.

Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Ashley Fallis.

Look below to see the 7News account of the opening arguments, followed by the reaction of Ashley's parents to Tom's acquittal in a Fox31 interview. These videos are followed by the original indictment.

Tom Fallis Indictment

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts