Hugs were exchanged and tears were shed on both sides as Conrad Truman, previously convicted of murder in the death of his wife, was found not guilty by a jury Friday afternoon.
Jurors began deliberating at about 1 p.m. Thursday in the case and returned a not-guilty verdict Friday at about 3 p.m. They deliberated for about eight and a half hours.
Truman, 35, was charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice in connection with the 2012 death of his wife, Heidy.
Truman was originally convicted of murder in October 2014. However, he was granted a new trial in early August 2016 after it was ruled that inaccurate evidence was presented at his first trial.
“We’re just glad that the truth has finally put this nightmare to an end,” said Colette Dahl, Conrad Truman’s sister. “We’re just really grateful to the jury and to our attorneys.”
Mark Moffat, Truman’s lead attorney, said he’s grateful his client is a free man after nearly four years of incarceration for a crime of which he has now been acquitted.
“What people need to understand is that Conrad Truman has been incarcerated since July 2013 for a crime he didn’t commit,” Moffat said. “This is a day long coming.”
Moffat said he believed the jury acquitted Truman this time around because of accurate evidence that made the homicide scenario less plausible.
“We discovered that there were evidentiary problems that affected the first trial,” Moffat said. “We believe the outcome of the first trial was impacted by the faulty evidence. ... Those measurements in that house had a big deal to do with it.”
When Moffat and the defense were first motioning for a new trial in the summer of 2016, they discovered that inaccurate measurements of the Truman home were taken during the investigation.
For example, the hallway was presented at the first trial as being 13.9 feet long. It was actually 139 inches long, which is 11 feet, 7 inches, making the position of where Heidy Truman’s body was found less likely a result of homicide and increasing the possibility that she died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Dahl smiled through tears of joy as she and her family walked through the courthouse hallway, saying “We’re going to go see him right now.”
Truman was transported back to the Utah County Jail briefly before being released Friday evening.
Moffat would not comment on whether a civil suit against the Orem Police Department or the Utah County Attorney’s Office will be filed after Truman’s acquittal.
“He’s going to spend some time trying to ease back into life on the outside,” Moffat said. “It’s going to be difficult, I’m sure. I think there are challenges for him because he’s been incarcerated for so long.”
Ann Taliaferro, a member of the defense team, said she hopes Truman finally has a time for mourning.
“Maybe he’ll get a chance to grieve. He never got that chance,” Taliaferro said.
Heidy Truman’s family, the Wagners, left the courtroom without comment.
Tim Taylor, a member of the prosecution, said he respected the verdict and process, though it was not in his team’s favor.
“Once an individual has been found not guilty, that’s it, there’s nothing that our office can do,” Taylor said. “This case is over with.”