Ex-Colorado sheriff’s deputy arrested in Bloomington

Thomas Fallis (Provided Photo/Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — A former Colorado sheriff’s deputy indicted this week in the murder of his wife was arrested Tuesday morning in Bloomington, police officials confirm.

34-year-old Tom Fallis was arrested around 8:30 a.m. at his home on Laurelwood Drive. Neighbors say he moved in about two years ago, with his three children.

Fallis’ wife, 28-year-old Ashley, died in 2012 in Evans, Colorado, about an hour north of Denver. Officials say her death was initially ruled a suicide, a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In April, police decided to re-open the case after they learned of new evidence, including a statement from the couple’s daughter saying she’d seen her father shoot her mother.

Her family has maintained from the beginning Ashley’s death was not a suicide. At an April news conference, they said statements from key witnesses were omitted or changed from the original police report.

“We keep continuing to believe, and have always believed that at one time the truth would come forth, and that time is now,” said one of Ashley’s family members at that April press conference.

A Colorado grand jury indicted Fallis on a second-degree murder charge Monday.

The indictment states Tom and Ashley Fallis argued at a New Year’s party they hosted, saying Tom Fallis was angry Ashley was going to smoke. It states Tom Fallis then got a gun, and during a struggle, shot Ashley, then called 911 to report she had shot herself in the head.

Tom Fallis declined an interview from the Monroe County Jail Tuesday, but his lawyer released this statement:

Mr. Fallis is innocent. He deeply loves his wife and did not kill her.   It is understandable that a parent may not want to accept that their child has taken her own life. Mr. Fallis grieves every day about his wife’s suicide. The truth will come out in the courtroom, not in what a biased news source decides to report.  

The District Attorney has the absolute power to charge Mr. Fallis, but they did not. They left this difficult decision up to a grand jury who makes determinations based upon the District Attorney’s presentation of one-sided evidence. The accused is not present and cannot challenge any evidence presented.

—Iris Eytan, Attorney for Tom Fallis

Bloomington Police arrested Fallis Tuesday morning without incident, after his three children went to school.

Captain Joe Qualters with Bloomington Police Department told 24-Hour News 8 the department was aware of the situation in Colorado, and had been asked to conduct two welfare checks on the children since April by Colorado authorities.

“We did not find anything on either visit there. We were aware this individual was in our community. We really at this point have no idea what made him choose Bloomington as a place to stay once he left Colorado,” said Qualters.

Qualters says they’re not sure what job Fallis held in Bloomington. Our news partners at the Herald-Times report Fallis told a judge Tuesday he was supporting his children with his deceased wife’s Social Security death benefits meant for them.

“The parents of the young woman that died are very happy with the beginnings of justice in their mind. They have tried for three agonizing years to show their daughter did not commit suicide, but in fact was murdered by her husband,” said Colorado attorney Dan Recht, who represents Ashley’s family.

Recht said Ashley’s parents were coming to Indiana to care for the children and bring them back to Colorado.

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