Made by Lindsey Schwartz, Lauren Clark, Alec Sirken, Chuck Stevenson, Chris Ritzen and Doug Longhini
[This story previously aired on October 22, 2016. It was updated on August 24, 2019.]
EVANS, Colo. – "It's unbelievable to see your child lying on a bed with a bullet in them," Jenna Fox said.
The illness has always been there for Jenna Fox and adopted father Joel Raguindin on the death of their daughter, 28-year-old Ashley Fallis, in the early hours of New Year's Day 2012.  "After her death, even the day after her death, I ̵
Ashley, they say, will never leave her three children – Madelynn, Jolie, and Blake, all under 10. It is unimaginable.
"He just loved his family, and he loved life," Fox told "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty. "He would never do anything like this.
Fox says he and his daughter are very close.
" To be honest, they are like best friends, "Raguindin said.
Ashley married her high school sweetheart after graduation. They had two daughters, but that marriage quickly fell apart. In April 2007, she met Tom Fallis. She seemed responsible, and ready for a family.
"And it seems their relationship has grown really fast," said Raguindin.
Just months into their relationship, Ashley became pregnant. ]
"I think – it's a way for them to feel more connected to each other very briefly over a period of time," says Fox.
They had a son, Blake: Two weeks after his breakup nakan, the couple got married. Soon after, Tom Fallis adopted the girls after their father gave up his parental rights. felt that it was all moving very fast.
"We're not happy about that, and we're really ried to talk about Ashley out of it," Raguindin said.
Ashley and Tom Fallis only met each other for a short time. His parents said they began to notice the disturbing aspects of Tom's personality.
"I didn't like – his mentality of – being right all the time and fighting all the time and – the aggression," Fox said. 19659003] Tom and Ashley lived in the small town of Evans, about an hour north of Denver. Ashley worked as a respiratory Therapy, and Tom took a job as a corrections officer with the Weld County Sheriff's Office, working in the local jail.
"Joel and I were like, & # 39; Pfff, that's the perfect job for someone with an ego who needs to tell people what to do, & # 39;" said Fox. "I think he's a very insecure person and he wants total control over him."
"Do you think you are a threat to Tom?" Moriarty asked Fox.
"Absolutely," he replied. "I'm the one person who can't separate Ashley."
Ashley was caught in the middle and only increased the pressure on her when Blake – a young child – was diagnosed with a chronic brain condition that required Ashley constant attention. All of this has given rise to a worrying prospect for Ashley and their marriage. Moriarty asked.
"No, I think he's upset and he's concerned and he likes – a lot on his plate and – I think he's excited," Fox replied.
"I would say that they are certainly going through some difficult times," Raguindin said.
Excessive fatigue was thought to break them. But when talking to the police after Ashley's death, Tom Fallis insisted that things were on the horizon as the holidays approached:
Tom Fallis with the police [crying]: We are doing well.
They were planning to host New The Eve of the Year, and Ashley still thought she was pregnant.
Tom Fallis to the police : When we found out, when he found this positive test, it was like, well, like finally, like, we've got it all.
She stopped taking drugs out of custody, and then, on the day of the festival, Fallis claimed that Ashley had begun bleeding and believed she had made a mistake.
Tom Fallis to the police : So he's not good now.
But Fallis says they testified. early in the festival and as the night went on, Fox said the dispute between her and Fallis began to wane.
"I always knew Tom hated me," he said.
While the bush was lying down. Fallis was furious when he heard one of the guests, Fox's brother, offering Ashley marijuana:
Tom Fallis to the police : I told Ashley, I was like, "You don't need to get high. " I was like, "Whatever happened today with the miscarriage," I was like, "It happened." … I was, you know what? F — your mother. F — all. Let it be.
As Fox and Raguindin leave the party, they see Fallis, still angry, enters the bedroom and slams the door.
Ashley followed them outside. It was around 12:40 a.m. when they said goodbye.
"And what is Ashley like? Is she angry?" Moriarty asked Fox.
"No, he's kind, like, & # 39; Whatever. & # 39; Like, & # 39; It's normal. This is Tom, & # 39;" he replied.
"We were the last to see Tom Fallis in a frenzy," Raguindin said. "A fit of anger. Our daughter gives us hugs and goodbye kisses, and her standing on the front porch says goodbye, and that's the last we saw of our daughter."
Ashley's autopsy revealed that she had not smoked marijuana that night, but Fallis said that after she had placed the children's bed, Ashley entered the bedroom.
Tom Fallis to the police : He was like, "F — you. If I want to get high, I'll get high." … I'm like, "Do what you want."
As Fallis said, they were in their room changing clothes, when he suddenly heard the sound of a gun being loaded from all over the room.
Tom Fallis to police : He has a .9mm Taurus. She kept it under her mattress. … he was behind the bed. He was low.
He said it happened quickly. She was walking out of the closet – closing the door and asking Ashley what she was doing – when she heard "pop."
Tom Fallis to the police : I heard that and there was smoke. I just ran to him and I just grabbed his head. And I grabbed his head and reached up and grabbed his phone and dialed 911.
Tom Fallis to 911 : "Stay here! You didn't leave me! You didn't leave me !!" "
911 call went to dispatcher at 12:50 am
Tom Fallis to police [crying]: And I opened his eyes and I started talking to her. I was like, "I – I'm here. You're not leaving. You're not leaving me."
Just 10 minutes after Ashley's family left.
"There were literally two squad cars coming into the neighborhood. We were in between two when we made a U-turn. It was shocking. And everything happened. It was very fast," Raguindin said.
Joel Raguindin and Jenna Fox never saw Ashley again until they got to the hospital. Ashley had severe brain trauma from a bullet wound to the head.
"Did you say goodbye?" Moriarty asked.
"Yes. Yes. Yes, I do not know how you said goodbye," Fox replied.
"I'm just asking you to point out, do you believe your daughter committed suicide?"
"No. No. No. No," said Fox.
"From the last minute we saw him alive, we always knew that Tom Fallis killed him," Raguindin said.
TOM FALLIS QUESTION
In the early morning hours of New Year's Eve 2012, officers from the Evans Police Department quickly responded to a call from the Fallen home. The video of the scene was shot by first responders.
Evans is a peaceful and low-crime community, said Police Chief Rick Brandt.
"I don't think we have one armed – maybe one or two armed robberies here since I was about eight years old," Chief Brandt said.
Although Tom Fallis called the shooting a suicide, police brought him in for an interview early in the morning, while watching his parents. the children. Investigators were immediately suspicious, as neighbors said they had heard. Fallis questioned by Detective Rita Wolf:
Det. Wolf : Then he tells you to get off him.
Tom Fallis : I'm not in him.
Det. Wolf : So doesn't anyone just do it, Tom?
Tom Fallis : My wife didn't tell me to go down with her.
Det. Wolf : And so, when you go upstairs and you argue with him. The wound on the back of his head wasn't where he could do it himself, Tom. No.
Tom Fallis [pounding table]: Oh bulls —! Bulls — Bulls — Bulls —! I didn't shoot my wife!
Investigators also searched his body and noticed scratches on his chest. Fallis says he stripped himself:
Tom Fallis to the police : Because I just crushed my chest. I just put it away, because I had never done it before … I was sitting there with my shirt on. Because it is itching, scratch.
Fallis became more and more upset as Wolf continued to talk:
Tom Fallis : You accuse me of murdering my wife. Should I not be angry? That doesn't make sense …
Det. Wolf : You were angry before this.
Tom Fallis : Yes, 'cause I was here the whole time.
Det. Wolf : You are known to blow the handle, they say.
Tom Fallis : I didn't shoot Ashley. I didn't shoot my wife. I do not shoot the mother of my children.
Police also found evidence raising questions about Tom's version of events: photos apparently ripped on the wall, a struggle, divorce papers were found on clothes, Ashley had bruises, and Fallis was angry at the end of the celebration.
"How angry was he at that point? Moriarty asked Fox.
" He was very angry, very angry. I mean, 'I wish you all to die,' "he replied.
Det. Wolf : You were upset at the fact that he was listening to his mother.
Tom Fallis : I told you so.
Det. Wolf : Yeah.
After being questioned the first morning, Fallis was released without charge. 19659003] "Do you expect Tom to charge? Moriarty asked.
"Yes. Oh yes, we are shocked. We are surprised that they neglected him," Raguindin said.
Despite concerns and evidence pointing to possible arrests, the coroner ruled Ashley's death a suicide on January 5 – four days after the incident and before forensic testing was completed. The case was officially closed two months later.
"… the fact is, if there is evidence supporting a probable cause in search of Tom, we will arrest him," Brandt told Moriarty.
Ashley's parents aren't nearly as hard to believe.
"He never did this," Fox explained. "He has a mission for Blake."
With Tom Fallis free, he moved with his children to Indiana to attend graduate school. Ashley's parents have lost their daughter, but they don't want their grandchildren to lose either. So they maintain a relationship with Tom.
"He's in another state with my grandparents. It's crazy," Raguindin said. "And we continue to do what we need to do because our love for our grandparents is much, much greater and stronger than the hate we have for Tom Fallis."
But then, two years later, an unexpected twist passed. A local television news reporter has begun his own investigation.
"It's not often you hear someone confess to murder and leave with it," says Justin Joseph.
In early 2014, Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin still believe their son-in-law, Tom Fallis, murdered their daughter, Ashley, after New Year's Eve in 2012.  “How would you describe the last two years?” Erin Moriarty asked Fox.
"It's really a roller coaster. It's hard to grieve," he replied.
"But why would he kill it?" Moriarty asked.
"Out of anger," Fox explains. "I think it's a high probability because of divorce papers, because of everything that happens."
But the Evans Police Department ruled Ashley's death a suicide and closed the case. And it remained closed until reporter Justin Joseph called.
"I had a law enforcement source call me and say, & # 39; There is something incorrect about this case, & # 39;" said Joseph, who is also a consultant for CBS News.
Joseph spent many months researching and interviewing neighbors. who first spoke to police. In April 2014, he received a major break:
A young next door neighbor, Nick Glover, told Joseph something about Tom Fallis that was not in police reports.
"I saw him walking outside, so we all ducked under the window sill, and his parents stood outside and he said, & # 39; Omigod I can't believe I did this & # 39 ;, three or four times … And then his parents said, 'What? What are you saying?' & # 39; And I remember I heard him … say, 'shot I am him, '"he told Joseph.
Nick Glover says he told Evans Police Officer Michael Yates.
"And he said, & # 39; Detective Yates sat right here where you sat and heard my story and wrote everything, & # 39;" Joseph told Moriarty.
And then Joseph reported the correction of Glover's story. A sheriff's deputy at the scene approached, two years later, to tell investigators he had also heard Fallis say he had shot Ashley.
Nick Glover's mother, Kathy Glover, also spoke to Joseph, telling her that he had received a call that night from another neighbor – a teenager named Chelsey Arrigo.
"And he said, & # 39; Yeah, Chelsey called me that night after it happened and said," Tell me the police called you, your neighbor just shot his wife. "'
This came as a shock, because in Yates's official police report, he wrote that Kathy Glover told him that Arrigo had said, "Your neighbor was shot himself "- a major variation.
"Thus, the Glovers were never presented with an opportunity to review their statements. They thought for two years that their statements were properly recorded. And they thought the Evans Police Department simply refused to be persecuted. And they are shocked because everyone knows the statements have been deleted and the statements have been changed., "Joseph explained.
"I think it is a question of one person's word against another," Chief Brandt told Moriarty.
“To this day, Officer Yates insists that Nick Glover has not told him that he actually heard Tom Fallis say he shot his wife?” Moriarty asked.
"That's right," Brandt said.
"What about Kathy Glover's claim, saying she got a call saying," I hope you called the police, your neighbor just shot his wife. I'm sorry. In fact, did the witness tell Officer Yates? "
" Not according to Officer Yates, "Brandt told Moriarty.
Still, Chief Brandt could not explain why his officers failed to conduct a follow up interview with Chelsey Arrigo. they have been since the first night he heard Ashley shout "come down to me."
"But Chelsey Arrigo is a witness," said Moriarty.
"She is," Brandt agreed.
"And you don't go back and interview him. Why not? "Moriarty asked.
" I cannot answer that. But I think it's a mistake, "Brandt replied.
" A serious mistake, isn't it? "Moriarty pressed.
" I agree there, "Brandt said. Ashley's parents say the erasures were part of a Evans Police cover.
"The Evans Police Department has decided to cover his death as a suicide from the very beginning," Raguindin said. "Now the the big question is, why? "
Chief Chieftt insisted that there was no cover – that his officers had just made a mistake. OK, if that happens, someone will look for it, "he said." To my knowledge, nothing happened. "
But could not really explain Brandt why his department concluded so quickly – just days after Ashley's death – that he committed suicide, especially when there is so much evidence to prove foul play.
Pictures, divorce papers – several party witnesses reported that he was angry that night.
"Aren't all these inconsistencies troubling?" Moriarty asked the police chief.
"I do not know the level of detail in the cases. I get the kind of overviews, briefings. Where we are. Lots of details you are talking about right now, on prevention, then reviewing it is, yes – the ones that draw the questions, "Brandt said.
Chief Brandt stated that his inexperienced officers were called to the CBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, for assistance, and subsequently, closed their own investigation.
"So, I mean that's an important question. Why would you close the case when you still have lab results pending?" Moriarty asked Brandt.
"I think this is a mistake. I don't think you will close a case when lab results are pending," he replied.
"So why not shut it down?"
"I can't answer that question," Brandt replied.
"But this is your department," said Moriarty.
"This is my department, but I do not run investigations," he said.
In fact, Chief Brandt said he did not know there were questions about the investigation until Justin Joseph reported two years later.
"You know, the first time I became aware of the problems or issues in this case was when Fox 31 called me for an interview. And that was the first time I started even reviewing the report on any kind of details, "he said.
Justin Joseph's reporting got the case reopened and re-constituted by a larger, nearby Fort Collins police department – all in full cooperation. of Chief Brandt.
"This new information includes alleged eyewitness accounts and witnesses, previously unknown to us, and of a serious enough nature to warrant further investigation in this case," the Chief said Brandt to journalists.
"It's a feeling I'm feeling. It's a lot of work, but I'm really relieved," Fox said. "I mean, it can't bring back any sense of Ashley, but I think I just want the truth there." 19659003] What does Tom Fallis think about developments? Joseph surprised her on a trip to the area:
Justin Joseph : Wonder if we can talk to you about your husband's death.
Tom Fallis : I'm not talking about you – the investigation is over and the investigation has ruled that he committed suicide.
Surprisingly, more than two years after his death, Fallis produced for police what he said were suicide notes written by Ashley. One said:
"Dear Tom …. Sorry I am your illness … I am a failure to everyone … I find myself not even liking my children. I love them; I can never really get this life again. "
"I think the most exciting thing about those letters is that when … we were told it was a suicide, these letters never appeared. These letters just came up recently, "Fox said." If there is an investigation going on for me, and I have information, I will give it to the police at that point. "
" What I want to see is truth and justice , "Raguindin added." I would like to see Tom charged with murder a my daughter. "
In November 2014, a grand jury indicted Tom Fallis for murdering his wife. The next day he was arrested in Indiana. After three years of freedom, thinking it was behind him, Fallis suddenly found himself in prison and separated from his children, now being cared for by his parents.
"… it was like an answered prayer and a weight lifted," Raguindin said of Fallis' arrest. "And just to feel that sense of justice has taken place."
In March 2016, trial begins. Tom Fallis is ready to put on a keen defense.
In his first words to the jury, Tom Fallis 'lawyer' Iris Eytan appeared to be fighting for his client. his wife and the mother of their three children " he told the court." Suicide Fallis committed suicide on January 1, 2012, "he addressed the court." Ashley Fallis is a beautiful woman , but he had a terrible internal malady … He had been mentally ill, had been aggressive and self-destructive and shot himself in the instant of his crisis with his own handgun. . "
And surprisingly, the Defense used the prosecution's very own witnesses to make their case: that Ashley, a volatile person, had been drinking heavily on the eve of the festival.
" He was intoxicated, he had just suffered a miscarriage, he was a pressure cooker, "Eytan continued in court.
Ashley's uncle, who was treated by another defense attorney, admitted having a history of suicide in the family:
D ru Nielsen : Both your mother and your brother died from a gunshot wound to the head.
John Schmitzer : That's right.
However, Ashley's therapist told Dr. Russell Johnson, who does not consider himself a danger to himself:
Prosecutor Ben Whitney : When you met him in December 2011, did you seem to be depressed?
Dr. Russell Johnson : He didn't.
Prosecutor Ben Whitney : He looks like he's committing suicide?
Dr. Russell Johnson : He didn't.
But in defense, Dr. Johnson said he was unaware of all the drugs Ashley was taking – including the prescriptions she received from other doctors.
Defense attorney Iris Eytan : … you never really know how many pills of Seroquel, and how many milligrams he took in December 2011, do you?
Dr. Russell Johnson : No.
Ashley does not seem to have kept other important information from the doctor, including the alleged suicide note she wrote to Tom:
Defense attorney Iris Eytan : And you don't know. .. that he wrote a second suicide mentioned dated July 24, 2011, right? He didn't tell you that, did he?
Dr. Russell Johnson : No.
The defense lawyer Iris Eytan : Will all these things change, Dr. Johnson, your thinking about the state of mind of Ms. Fallis?
Dr. Russell Johnson : Yes.
But, when Jenna Fox was questioned by prosecutor Ben Whitney, she repeated what she and her husband, Joel Raguindin, all told: that Ashley was fine throughout the celebration and that Tom was the one that exploded at the end of the night.
Jenna Fox : She climbed the stairs and came before me, and told me that she "f —— g hates us all and wants us all to die." bedroom and slamming the door.
Prosecutor Ben Whitney : What was Ashley like?
Jenna Fox : She looks fine. He seems to be just frustrated, maybe embarrassed.
And, there are key witnesses Justin Joseph speaking following Ashley's death: Nick Glover, the next-door neighbor who said he heard Tom Fallis' confession, told jurors who recalled he made it all clear.
Nick Glover : What did I hear him say, "Oh my god. Oh my god. What have I done? Oh my god, what have I done?" … And he said "I shot my wife."
Prosecutor Anthea Carrasco : How confident are you, or are you not, that the voice you hear is the voice of Tom Fallis that you see standing in the quadrant of your trip? 19659003] Nick Glover : I – 100 percent. … I will never forget, or hear of such a thing, and I will not remember it.
But Tom's parents denied that the conversation happened.
Defense attorney Dru Nielsen : Did you hear Tom admit at that time. , to shoot Ashley?
Jim Fallis : Never.
And others present with Nick that night said they had not heard it either. Nick's mother, Kathy Glover, tells the jury about the 1 am phone call she received from neighbor Chelsey Arrigo.
" Nang sumagot ako sa telepono, sinabi niya na 'Pakisabi sa akin na tinawag mo ang pulisya. … Sapagkat binaril lamang ng iyong kapitbahay ang kanyang asawa, '"nagpatotoo si Kathy Glover.
Ngunit ang kanyang kwento ay natapos nang tumayo ang sarili ni Chelsey Arrigo at sinabi niyang hindi niya paalala ang tawag:
Si Chelsey Arrigo : Ang naalala ko lang ay nakarinig ng ilang pagtatalo. Ngunit iyon lang.
Tagausig Ben Benigney : Naaalaala mo ba ang anumang partikular na mga pahayag?
Si Chelsey Arrigo : Hindi.
Tagausig Ben Benney; : Naaalala mo ba na sinasabi kay Kathy Glover sa isang pag-uusap sa telepono nang madaling araw, "Narinig ko siyang sumisigaw, 'Alisin mo ako. Alisin mo ako.'?"
Si Chelsey Arrigo : Hindi.
Inamin niya na siya ay nakalalasing nang gabing iyon, at nabigo na maiwasto ang alinman sa mga mahahalagang pahayag na sinabi ng mga investigator na ibinigay niya pagkatapos ng pamamaril. Gayunpaman, ang Deputy Weld County Sheriff na si Chris Graves ay nagsabi rin na narinig niya si Tom Fallis na aminin ang pagpatay kay Ashley.
"Narinig ko siyang sumisigaw, 'Hindi ako naniniwala na binaril ko siya.' At 'Hindi ako makapaniwala na patay na siya,' "nagpatotoo si Graves.
Ngunit ang kanyang pagiging maaasahan bilang isang saksi ay din na nag-aalinlangan kapag inamin niya na hindi niya sinabi ang kanyang mga superyor hanggang dalawang taon pagkatapos ang pagbaril-matapos mabuksan muli ang kaso:
Tagausig ng Anthea Carrasco : … gumawa ka ba ng isang ulat tungkol sa iyong narinig?
Chris Graves : Hindi ma'am. … Ito ang kaso ni Evans '.
Tagausig ng Anthea Carrasco : Iyon ba ang naramdaman mo tulad ng dapat mong gawin?
Chris Graves : Ganap.
Ang forensic patotoo mula sa gabi ng pagbaril ay mahalaga. Ang dalubhasa ng estado na si Dan Gilliam, na gumugol ng 400 na oras upang suriin ang kaso, ay nagpapaliwanag sa hurado kung saan kinailangan ang ulo ni Ashley nang umalis ang nakamamatay na pagbaril.
"Kailangan niyang bumaba sa posisyon na ito – sa isang lugar tulad nito. "Paliwanag ni Gilliam habang siya ay nakayuko sa isang modelo ng kwarto ng Fallis. "… ang baras na dumadaan sa aking ulo ay dapat na pumila sa pamalo na ito."
Ngunit sa cross examination, ang kanyang konklusyon ay tila hindi pabor ang kaso ng pag-uusig, ngunit ang pagtatanggol:
Defense abogado na si Iris Eytan : Ang pinaka-malamang na resulta ng pagbaril kay Ashley Fallis sa kanyang ulo ay isang resulta ng pagiging self-inflicted, tama?
Dan Gilliam : Naniniwala ako na.
Defense abogado Iris Eytan : Kaya, pagpapakamatay? Tamang?
Dan Gilliam : Oo.
Upang kontrahin ito, ang pag-uusig ay tumawag sa pangalawa, pambansang bantog na forensikong dalubhasa, si Jon Priest, na nagsasabi sa hurado na tinapos niya ang kabaligtaran – na si Tom kailangang malapit sa Ashley nang siya ay binaril.
"Ang pinakahuling opinyon ko ay sa oras na ang pagbaril ay pinaputok, sina Tom at Ashley Fallis ay nakikipag-ugnay sa isa't isa, o malapit sa bawat isa," patotoo ng Pari.
Sinasabi ng pari sa hurado na ang ebidensya ay nagpapakita ng ang dalawa sa kanila ay maaaring nahirapan habang ang baril ay umalis.
"Maaaring kami ay nahihirapan sa baril na ito, kung saan nakuha ko ito laban sa kanyang ulo, nagbabanta ng pagsigaw, anuman," paliwanag ng Pari, na nagpapakita sa modelo ng silid-tulugan. "Maaari ko itong makuha dito, maaari niyang maabot at hinawakan ito sa oras ng paglabas. Ang armas ay umalis, maaari kong ibagsak ang baril, hilahin siya sa aking balakang pagbalik upang lumikha ng mantsa na ito at pagkatapos ay bumalik muli dito sa sahig. "
Kaya, pagpatay ba ito? O kinuha ni Ashley Fallis ang sarili niyang buhay? Nakaharap sa magkakasalungat na teorya, kailangang timbangin ng hurado ang madalas na magkakasalungat na ebidensya.
"Kung siya ay nagpupumilit sa mga puntos sa kanyang nakaraan? Sigurado. Maraming tao? Ganap. Ibig sabihin ba ay nagpakamatay siya? Hindi," tinalakay ni Prosecutor Anthea Carrasco sa korte. "Siya ay mabuti … Siya ay nasa isang galit. … Iyan ang tao na nasa bahay na iyon. Iyon ang nangyayari sa kanyang ulo, iyon ang nangyayari sa kanyang puso, at iyon ang taong nasa silid na iyon kasama si Ashley Fallis. "
" Dapat nilang patunayan na mayroon siyang baril, lampas sa isang makatuwirang pagdududa. Naglagay ng baril sa kanyang ulo, lampas sa isang makatwirang pagdududa. At hinila ang gatilyo, na lampas sa isang makatuwirang pagdududa. "Sinabi ni Iris Eytan sa mga hurado.
Ang hinaharap ni Tom Fallis ay nakabitin sa balanse.
" Upang makita siya sa korte na parang naramdaman ko – mayroon kaming isang shot ng pag-asa na ang katarungan ay magiging nagsilbi, "sabi ni Joel Raguindin.
Bilang pangunahing mga saksi para sa pag-uusig, ang mga magulang ni Ashley ay not allowed to view much of the trial outside of their own testimony. But from what they heard from those inside the courtroom, the case against Tom Fallis might not be the slam dunk they thought it would be.
But Jenna and Joel remained hopeful as the case went to the jury; however, they soon got a jolt.
"The jurors were out how long?" Moriarty asked.
"Three-and-a-half hours," Fox replied.
"Three-and-a-half hours, and an hour of that was their lunch," said Raguindin.
"Did that seem right, three-and-a-half hours?" Moriarty asked.
"No," said Raguindin.
Four years after Ashley's death, the judge read the jury's decision:
Judge: We the jury find the defendant Thomas Fallis not guilty of murder in the second degree and all lesser included offense.
Tom Fallis was free.
"Tell me that moment when you heard the verdict," said Moriarty
"Shock," said Raguindin. "I was just, like, here – 'Tom just got away with murder again,'" said Fox.
For Ashley's parents, the speed of the verdict made it even worse.
"To me, they're talkin' about the — the life of my daughter and the well-bein' of my grandchildren. And for them to make that decision — " said Raguindin.
"That quickly—" Moriarty said.
"–is sickening to me. It really is. It's– it's– it's haunting," he continued.
"It is a lot of information. That you could spend three-and-a-half hours not — I don't get it. I really don't get it," said Fox.
Two of the jurors, Dillon Pierce and Davana Mijares, were willing to explain their verdict.
"I did realize immediately that — there are lives at stake here. Not only Tom's life, but the children as well," Mijares told Moriarty. "…if he was guilty I was looking for that. …I looked at him, I studied him and I just couldn't see it. But I did want to find him guilty if he did it … I wanted to be that voice for Ashley if he did it."
But jurors say that in the isolation of the courtroom, the case seemed straightforward. They believed Ashley Fallis was in a dire mental state, which led her to take her own life.
"Was this a case of reasonable doubt for you all? Is this just there wasn't enough evidence to go, or are you absolutely convinced you know what happened?" Moriarty asked the jurors.
"I'm convinced," said Dillon Pierce.
"I think it was a perfect storm just waiting to happen," said Mijares.
Mijares believes, though, that the truth of what happened may not have been what either side presented in the courtroom.
"I think that the argument that they had that night was probably a little bit more intense. …But I don't think that he did it. …I don't think that he actually pulled the trigger," Mijares continued. "There was nothing there that said Tom was holding the gun. I just – I — I just couldn't put it there."
And, they question how the case even made it to trial.
"I don't think there was enough evidence to reopen the case. I think the case was reopened just due to … pressure from the media," said Mijares.
"I feel that's what Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin were out to do," Pierce said. "They were out to get justice for Ashley. …They needed some media attention to reopen the case."
"For me, my job as a reporter were to get as many facts out there and to get those to the jury. …And I certainly have no regrets about the integrity of our reporting," Justin Joseph said. "But in the end … the police department and the Weld County Sheriff did not do their jobs the night this happened … they didn't have what they needed to … be able to decide whether or not Tom Fallis pulled the trigger. …And from that standpoint, the jury made the right decision."
Tom Fallis declined to speak with "48 Hours."
The verdict changes nothing for Ashley's family. They still believe Ashley would never take her own life and leave her children behind.
"Is it at all possible that she just — after her husband got so angry with you she just couldn't handle the stress and she took her life?" Moriarty asked Ashley's parents.
"No way," Raguindin replied. "Absolutely not."
"I don't think so," Fox said. "No."
As they wrestled with their frustrations after the verdict, Ashley's parents could barely contain their emotions during their interview with Moriarty …
"I know you're pissed, but don't…" Fox said to Raguindin. "I'm f—–g pissed goddamnit," he replied and left the room.
…especially because of how they believe their daughter was portrayed in court.
"They made her look bad by callin' her a spitfire, and this jury fell for it?" Fox said in tears. "They were up there callin' her a spitfire like it was this bad thing. And it just — that's what he used to call me — 'My spitfire—'"
"It's a person—it's a person who loves life, has a passion for life," said Raguindin.
"I think Jenna Fox is– is angry, understandably," said Mijares.
"She doesn't have any power in this situation. She keeps looking for this — for a way to take back control of what's happening. And there's no power… and that — that sucks," said Pierce.
"I mean, I'm going to say — we're not parents in denial. I mean, that's just not the case," said Fox.
"Every day this is the battle, is that — we live with — we're having to live with what the jurors came up with and it is not easy. But we are also — we, me and Jenna, are both fighters. And the truth is the truth. And it always will be in our minds, in our hearts," an emotional Raguindin said.
What lies ahead for their relationship with their three grandchildren – now back in Tom's care – remains unclear, but they are committed to preserving Ashley's memory in the childrens' minds.
"Madelynn, Jolie and Blake, I wanna talk to you about your mother. She loved you guys wholeheartedly—wholeheartedly," Joel Raguindin said. "She loved life … And that — because she loved life so much, Erin, that's why I know that my daughter would never take her own life."
The children remain in Tom Fallis' custody in Indiana.
Jenna Fox and Joel Raguindin now have visitation rights.