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PROVO — Sentencing for a man convicted of murdering his wife was delayed Monday as attorneys continue to argue over what was said during the trial.
In October, a jury convicted Conrad Mark Truman of killing his wife, Heidy Truman, in 2012. He was scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
But defense attorney Ron Yengich filed a motion to arrest judgment, essentially putting the sentencing proceedings on hold until the motion is considered. Among other issues, Yengich claims prosecutors acted inappropriately during the trial's closing arguments by referring to his defense theory as a "red herring" and by comparing the defense's arguments to the movie "Dumb and Dumber."
In his motion, Yengich called the movie reference a "personal attack" and an "inflammatory attack on defense counsel."
In its motion responding to Yengich's arguments, the Utah County Attorney's Office said the judge already rejected Yengich's challenges to the "Dumb and Dumber" and red herring references when the comments were made.
Prosecutor Craig Johnson said he does not believe any misconduct took place. He said he would prefer to have Truman sentenced first and let the family have closure, and then let Yengich file his appeals. He said he believed he made his comments in a tasteful way that did not damage Yengich's reputation.
"Certainly anyone who was in the courtroom knows it was not (a personal attack). I have the highest respect for Mr. Yengich," Johnson said. "At no time would I inject a personal attack on Mr. Yengich or attemped to. I don't know how that would help our case. A jury would not like us doing that. And that's just not the way to go."
We're absolutely in support of Conrad. We 100 percent believe his innocence... We felt that there were a number of things that did not come out (during trial) that supports my brother's innocence.
–Collette Dahl, Conrad Truman's sister
Sentencing was continued until Feb. 9. Truman could receive 15 years to life in prison.
Outside the courtroom Monday, Conrad Truman's family continued to proclaim his innocence.
"We're absolutely in support of Conrad. We 100 percent believe his innocence," said his sister, Collette Dahl. "Court is a funny thing. I think we often believe that we hear the whole story and the whole story comes out in court. And our personal experience is that is not the case. We felt that there were a number of things that did not come out that supports my brother's innocence.
"We believe he's innocent and we believe he was wrongly convicted," she said.
Outside the courtroom, Conrad Truman's family said they believed Heidy Truman's death was an accident and that mistakes were made during the police investigation.
"We will never know the truth, and that is a travesty for both families," said Conrad Truman's mother, Louise Kilpack.
On the other side, the family of Heidy Truman said they were disappointed with the delay in sentencing, but believe the jury made the right decision.
Conrad Truman has not shed a tear. He did not cry at my sister's funeral no matter who said anything different.
–Amanda Wagner, victim's sister
"We are confident that the truth will be told and has been told," said Janet Wagner, the victim's mother.
While Conrad Truman's family said he cried when his wife died, his wife's family contends he has shown no remorse.
"Conrad Truman has not shed a tear. He did not cry at my sister's funeral no matter who said anything different," said Amanda Wagner, Heidy Truman's sister.
The family members do not believe her death was an accident. They said they believe Conrad Truman "deliberately" murdered his wife.
"There's no conspiracy, there never has been — just denial. We know the truth," Wagner said.
Contributing: Sam Penrod