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Jury finds Orem man guilty of killing wife for nearly $1 million in insurance money

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SALT LAKE CITY — A jury found an Orem man guilty Wednesday of killing his wife after a night of drinking, possibly to collect nearly $1 million in insurance money.

Prosecutors said Conrad Truman, 32, shot and killed Heidy Truman with a point-blank gunshot to the head in 2012.

The victim's mother, Janet Wagner, said the verdict after a 15-hour-long jury deliberation was at a relief.

"This has been a two-year journey. It's so hard. We knew the truth had to come through," said Wagner, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. "We were just hoping and praying that the jury would hear her story. And they have."

Conrad Truman was saddened by the verdict and maintained his innocence, defense attorney Ron Yengich said.

Conrad Truman faces at least 15 years and up to life in prison on the murder charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15.

Prosecutors argued during the trial that murder was the only explanation for Heidy Truman's death.

PHOTO: Conrad Truman, left, shakes hands with one of his defense attorneys, Jim Park, after the jury begins deliberations in Truman's trial at the 4th District Court in Provo, Utah, on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Truman has been charged with murder and obstruction of justice in the 2012 death of his wife, Heidy Truman. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Spenser Heaps, Pool)
Conrad Truman, left, shakes hands with one of his defense attorneys, Jim Park, after the jury begins deliberations in Truman's trial at the 4th District Court in Provo, Utah, on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Truman has been charged with murder and obstruction of justice in the 2012 death of his wife, Heidy Truman. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Spenser Heaps, Pool)

"If you rule out suicide and rule out accident, this leaves you with murder. This isn't a big leap," said prosecutor Craig Johnson during closing arguments Tuesday.

He said Conrad Truman threatened to kill police and paramedics the night of his wife's death, showing he had the mindset of a murderer. Conrad Truman offered many different versions of what happened that night, at times saying that someone shot her through a bathroom wall or an intruder killed her.

"His stories don't add up," Johnson said.

But during an impassioned closing argument, Yengich told the jury Conrad Truman loved his wife, and had no reason to kill her. Conrad Truman's stories changed because had been drinking at the time, was distraught and trying to make sense of his wife's death, Yengich said.

He argued Heidy Truman may have thought she heard an intruder while she was in the shower, grabbed her gun and accidently shot herself because she was still wet.

"That's a more reasonable theory of what happened," Yengich said.

Truman has testified that he and his wife were drinking alcohol and watching the TV show "Dexter" in September 2012 when she decided to take a shower. He says he heard a pop from the bathroom and found her fatally wounded.

Prosecutors acknowledged there is ample evidence that the couple had a loving relationship and the insurance money connection is tenuous, but said they didn't have to prove a motive.

Heidy Truman was found naked at the top of the stairs in the couple's home in a pool of blood. Based on the marks on her body, the gun couldn't have been more than ½ inch from her head, Johnson said, making an accident unlikely. Conrad Truman says his wife was shot with her own gun, but Johnson argued the gun actually belonged to her husband.

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PHOTO: Conrad Truman, left, shakes hands with one of his defense attorneys, Jim Park, after the jury begins deliberations in Truman's trial at the 4th District Court in Provo, Utah, on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Truman has been charged with murder and obstruction of justice in the 2012 death of his wife, Heidy Truman. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Spenser Heaps, Pool)
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