The murder trial of a former Weld County sheriff's deputy took a surprising turn Friday when the defendant, Tom Fallis, asked that his daughters not be forced to testify.
The judge told jurors that even though the girls had been subpoenaed, Fallis didn't want to subject them to that process.
In exchange, Fallis agreed to let prosecutors play the interviews that police recorded on January 1, 2012.
Generally, those interviews wouldn't be played without the witness testifying in court, but the Judge said the defendant agreed to waive that requirement.
One of the girls told police that she was in her room with her cousin playing a game on her iPad when she "heard something and smelled something disgusting."
When asked what it smelled like, she said, "smoke."
“It just scared me," she said, "because I wanted to know if there was a gunshot. You know, how they smell or something.”
The girl told police she walked into her parent's bedroom and saw her dad holding her mom.
"He was telling her to wake up," she said. "She had blood on her face."
The girl said she ran back to her room and texted her grandparents.
The girl had been reluctant to say anything bad had happened, then broke down and said, "I saw the worst thing happened."
After texting her grandparents, she went back to her parent's bedroom and said her father told her to call 911 and to let the police in.
The second child told police that she went into her parent's bedroom and saw that her father's "face was wet because he was so sad."
She said, "We were so scared. I was shaking so hard."
That same child told police that she had earlier heard daddy "get the gun ready three times, and that he "shooted [sic] mommy three times."
Investigators say there was no evidence that three shots were fired.
The girl also told police that her mom's gun was pink. Those statements were not corroborated.
Earlier on Friday, the defendant's father took the stand.
Jim Fallis was asked if his son had confessed to the shooting. The defense attorney said, "Did you ever hear him say, 'I shot her?'"
Jim Fallis replied, "Never."
The defense attorney then asked, "Did you ever heard Tom confess, at that time, to shooting Ashley?" Jim Fallis replied, "Never."
The defendant's mom also testified.
Anna Fallis told the court that she talked to her son on the phone shortly after the shooting.
The defense attorney asked, "Was he hysterical? Anna Fallis replied, "Yes." The defense followed with, "He was crying?" She said, "Yes."
The defense attorney continued, "Ashley's uncle was screaming at you?" Anna Fallis said, "Yes, all three of them (Ashley's uncle and parents) screamed at us."
When the defense attorney asked what they were screaming, Anna replied, "You're (f-word) son just shot Ashley."
The murder trial is expected to last two to three weeks.
Among the witnesses still expected to testify are Nick Glover, a neighbor who claims he heard Tom Fallis tell his father that he shot Ashley, and a former Denver Police Department homicide detective, who is expected to testify about evidence at the scene, specifically blood spatter patterns.
Testimony will resume at 8:30 Monday morning.