EVANS, Colo. — Two years of tears, and every day Ashley Fallis’ three beautiful children are closer to knowing what may have happened to her.
“I’m just trying to do the right thing,” said Jenna Fox, Ashley’s mom. I knew how much she loved her kids and she wouldn`t have missed raising her kids for anything.”
Eight weeks after police reopened the investigation into Ashley Fallis’ 2012 death, there are more questions and new accusations of misconduct concerning the Evans Police Department.
“I`m very leary from experience,” said a former officer interviewed by FOX31 Denver. The officer came forward after Evans reopened the Fallis investigation. “I feel that when officers mess up they`ll do whatever it takes to protect their own,” this officer said.
FOX31 Denver agreed to conceal the officer’s identity because he or she is afraid of retribution. The former officer knows Officer Michael Yates who is under investigation for misreporting evidence in the Fallis investigation.
In April, neighbor Nick Glover told FOX31 Denver he heard Ashley`s husband Tom, allegedly confess to the crime outside his window the night of the incident.
Glover says he told Officer Yates about what he heard in the following days, but our investigation revealed those statements never appeared in Yates` reports. FOX31 Denver also uncovered another key statement which appeared to be changed in Yates’ reports.
“They will do whatever it takes to solve a crime the way they want to solve it,” said the former officer. “If you complain and tell the truth against the culture you’re retaliated against. If you’re asked questions and if you’re caught at something you deny, deny, deny.”
Along with Yates, Sergeant Jason Phipps and the assistant chief at the time, Mike Parkos, led the investigation into Ashley Fallis’ New Year’s day 2012 death, and cleared her husband Tom, a fellow Weld County law enforcement officer.
The former officer levels a serious claim against Yates, Phipps and Parkos.
Reporter Justin Joseph asked, “Did you ever see the detectives that you worked with, the detectives that are now working on the Fallis case change or alter evidence?
The former officer responded, “Yes. In my experience there were times when sergeants and lieutenants change their reports to the way they wanted them written, and I was not comfortable with those changes.”
“I believe there is a basis for a homicide charge filed against Mr. Fallis,” said nationally renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht. For decades, he`s given expert opinions in high profile cases including the California case against Scott Peterson, who was convicted of killing his wife Laci in 2002.
FOX31 Denver hired Dr. Wecht to review the Fallis case including witness statements, forensic evidence like blood spatter, and crime scene photos including those suggesting a struggle in the room where Ashley was found dead. In Wecht`s opinion he believes it`s possible that crime scene could have been staged to look like a suicide.
“Fallis either deliberately with some knowledge as a police officer shot her in that fashion to stage it as a suicide or he just got lucky,” said Wecht.
Wecht says in his independent expert opinion, Ashley’s husband Tom should be charged with her murder. Wecht also believes there should be an independent investigation into a possible cover-up of evidence by officers at the Evans Police Department.
“To say the investigation was botched was to attribute it to negligence or incompetence or lack of experience, but we`ve gone beyond that to something conspiratorial in nature,” said Wecht.
FOX31 Denver verified the former Evans officer’s account that he or she raised questions about issues with evidence during this person’s employment in Evans. The issues raised by the former officer in documents reviewed by FOX31 Denver were raised years before the Ashley Fallis’ death. FOX31 Denver also spoke with attorneys who raised issues with the court about Evans officers corroborated by the former officer.