Tom Foley

Tom Foley of Coldwater Michigan says that on February 7, 2009 when his wife DeeDee had not shown up at their sons birthday party at a friends house he was concerned and he went back home to look for her.  He claims he found her shot in the head, naked, in the downstairs shower.  Police and prosecutors say that Tom Foley did not find her there by accident.  They claim he knew she was there because he had left her there after he shot her.  A lot of their information came from the testimony of Tom and DeeDee's son, Heath who claimed to have heard a loud sound before he, his father, and his friend left for the party.

Prosecutors would say that the loud sound Heath and his friend heard was his father shooting his mother.  Defense attorney's would say the sound came from Tom dropping a window frame on the back porch and it shattered.  

Prosecutors would say that after shooting his wife Tom gathered up his son and his friend, got in the car and left. They believe he returned a few hours later to ransack the house and report finding his wife.  Defense attorney's would say Tom returned only when DeeDee was later in arriving than expected to the party and that he found her dead from a gunshot wound.

On March 9, 2009 Tom Foley was arrested and charged with murder and the illegal use of a weapon, although a weapon had not and still has never been found.  That following November he would go on trial.  Prosecutors would claim that the Foley marriage was failing and the fact that Foley was unemployed gave him a motive to want to claim the $250,000 in life insurance on his wife's life.  An investigator who was one of the first on the scene testified that Foley had stated that when he found his wife's body the shower was still running and he had turned it off but the investigator stated that her body was not wet.  Other officers would claim that the "ransacking" appeared to be a set up and that while credit cards, video games and other things were reported to be missing that expensive electronics had been left in the home which was unusual for a robbery.  The credit cards would later be found at a gas station.  In the basement investigators found a bag from the store Dunhams and inside were three shot gun shells.  The shells matched the bullet used in the murder.  This bag was dusted for prints and the print of Foley's right index finger was found on the outside. A forensic expert testified that the perpetrator had shot DeeDee from only about 6 inches away.

Heath Foley and his friend testified to hearing the loud "crash" they had heard prior to leaving for the party and that his father had been inside the home.  It does not appear that either Heath, nor his friend, could truly describe the sound as a gunshot sounds.

A teacher, a co-worker of DeeDee's, would testify that several months prior to her murder that Tom Foley had told er his marriage was in trouble and that he had romantic feelings towards her but she rejected him.  She also testified that sometime after that she and Foley had a conversation in which he told her that he and DeeDee were working on their marriage and were in counseling.  

DeeDee's brother would testify that several months before his sister was murdered that he was missing a shotgun but that he had not reported it to the police because he believed a friend or family had taken it.  At this point he apparently believed that person must have been Tom Foley.

For their part the defense argued that there was significant evidence that a stranger had come into the home as a burglary.  They argued that the fingerprint found on the bag was insignificant considering that it was his home.  They also argued that while Foley said he did not recognize the bag that there had been others at the home just like them but that none of the others had been tested for fingerprints.  As far as Heath's testimony, it was argued, if not by the defense than by others that he had been in the care of DeeDee's family since Tom's arrest and that his recollections and descriptions had changed and that the boy appeared coached.  They continued to argue that the sound the boys heard came from the window frame being dropped.  Foley had stated and later testified picking up the glass after he broke it but despite that the prosecution claimed the lack of glass meant it did not happen.  There was also talk at some point in which a babysitter would claim that the frame Foley was claiming to have broke had in fact been broken the week before.  From my understanding she did not testify. Foley would testify that yes he and his wife had had problems in the past but they had worked on them and things were good at the time of her murder.

The defense would argue that the Foley's did not own or possess a gun in any manner and that no weapon had ever been found despite a desperate search for one.  They would also argue that when tested Foley did not have any gun shot residue on his hands, nor did his clothes or his body show any signs of blood or of injury.  There had been apparently one very small stain of DeeDee's blood on his shirt that was tested later.  A forensic expert stated this was not from splatter but from contact.  Prosecutors would argue that none of these things existed because he had taken the time to clean up.  However, no clothing was ever found nor again any physical injuries or anything else connected to Foley.  

On November 27, 2009 the jury found Tom Foley guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.

One week later Foley's defense team filed an appeal stating new witnesses had come forward saying they had seen a car leaving the Foley driveway.  Some, including the prosecutor, would claim that the witnesses were not credible, arguing they had taken so long to come forward.  According to some of the witnesses they were unaware of the situation until the guilty verdict had been announced.  To others they claim that these three individuals did not know each other and yet tell similar stories, well, at least two of them did.  The defense argued for a new trial while the prosecutor sat back and all but laughed at them.  They did not laugh long because the judge granted the motion for a new trial on March 24, 2010. The state of Michigan appealed that decision but it was upheld in January of 2011

In July of 2011 Tom Foley would be back on trial again for the murder of his wife.  Much of the prosecutors case stayed the same.  The defense still argued that a Foley was innocent.  They had the three new witnesses, as well as a picture to show the jury that the first jury had not seen  The picture was apparently taken by investigators on the day of the murder and while the prosecution had argued there was no glass where Foley said he had dropped the window frame they showed that there was.  Then there were the new witnesses.  One would say that about 4:45, some forty-five minutes after Foley had left the home and was at the party, they had seen an older model white car speeding out of the Foley driveway.  The only thing I could find on the details of the driver is that they claimed the person to be eighteen to twenty years old... I assume male but I am unclear. The second witness said that not long after 4 pm they had also seen a white car parted in the driveway behind DeeDee Foley's car.  A third witness said they saw a dark SUV parked behind a barn on the Foley property about 3:30 pm, prior to Tom leaving with Heath and his friend.  

On July 30, 2011, after nine hours of deliberation the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Jury members were to have said that the evidence of the white vehicle and the picture of the shards of glass were what convinced them of his innocence.  

Tom Foley was obviously released from jail to return to his life with his son.  The State of Michigan has said that while the case is open and considered to be unsolved that they are not actively pursuing it because in their opinion Tom Foley is the guilty person.


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