EVANS, Colo. — The family of Ashley Fallis, the mother of three whose death is being re-investigated after FOX31 Denver found evidence of a potential cover-up, demanded Thursday that prosecutors charge her husband with first-degree murder.
They have waited for more than two years.
“Nothing can make up the two years we have lost knowing our daughter did not receive justice,” said Joel Raguindin, Ashley’s father.
Two years, and the words still sting.
“We know in our hearts that my sister was killed by Tom Fallis,” her brother Bryce said.
Ashley Fallis’ family told her story Thursday.
“She was strong making a beautiful life for her children.”
Represented by their attorney Dan Recht, the family called for quick action in the investigation.
“Justice in this case means a first degree murder charge,” Recht said.
Fallis died of a gunshot wound to the head after a New Year’s Party on Dec. 31, 2011, in her Weld County home. Her death was ruled a suicide.
However, after a year-long investigation, we found evidence that her husband, Tom Fallis, a former corrections officer, may have had a role in her death. The evidence was never examined by police because an Evans Police detective omitted key statements from witnesses in his police reports. One of those statements from a neighbor included a potential confession by Tom Fallis.
The Evans Police Department has reopened the case after FOX31 Denver reporter Justin Joseph presented the evidence to them.
Wearing green ribbons with Ashley Fallis written on them, family members and their attorney, Dan Recht, held a news conference Thursday to talk about the case, reiterating eight key reasons they say the death should have been investigated as a murder.
Along with the witness statements, the eight points included physical evidence that the couple had been physically struggling in their bedroom, even though Tom Fallis claimed his wife had shot herself in the bathroom with no sort of fight.
“The bedroom was in disarray with art strewn (and) hung crookedly on wall,” Recht said. This is indicative of a (physical) fight.”
The family directed much of the blame at Det. Michael Yates, whom they accuse of falsifying witness statements and ignoring — if not outright tampering with — evidence.
“Our daughter is dead,” Ashley’s father said, addressing Yates via the media. “Do you have any children? If the same thing happened to your child, would you want the truth omitted or changed?”
The family has no evidence of a motive for Yates’ alleged misconduct, but noted that he and Tom Fallis were both law enforcement officers in a small community, and that Fallis’ father is a community leader there.
The family said several times they are worried for the safety of Tom and Ashley’s young children, who still live with their father in Indiana. Ashley’s parents have tried multiple times to secure custody of the children, but have so far been unsuccessful.
At least one of the children, who was just six when her mother died, has said she saw her father kill her mother, the family said. Police discounted the story because of her young age and some factual discrepancies in her story, but the family believes she knows what she saw.
“If Tom knew what she said (to us), she may be in danger,” said Ashley’s mother, Jenna Fox. “Tom is an angry man.”