The murder of Curtis “Curt” Thorngren by his wife, Donna Thorngren, is featured in the latest episode of Til Death Do Us Part on Investigation Discovery.
On January 12, 2003, Curt, 42, was found dead in the bathroom of his home in Meridian, Idaho, in what appeared to be the result of a home invasion.
Donna was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after police learned through an investigation that she had staged the burglary.
During the trial, prosecutors stated that Donna shot her husband three times because she wanted to collect $320,000 from a life insurance policy.
Before Curt’s body was found, Donna went to a shed at her mother’s house, where her then-17-year-old son was located, and confessed to him that she had killed his father.
A friend of Austin’s was also at the home, and he testified that he noticed Austin was visibly shaken up and appeared to be in shock after his mother left. So, he asked what was wrong, and that’s when he said Austin told him that he thinks his mother killed his father.
Austin was later taken into custody in connection to the execution-style killing of his father. He was charged with accessory to murder.
Donna and Curt had two other children, who don’t believe their mother killed their father. They stated that an intruder must have entered the home through Austin’s bedroom window. When Curt and the burglar came into contact, they think a scuffle ensued that ultimately led to Curt’s death.
They added that Curt’s body was found next to a palm print, and there was DNA evidence under his fingernails, but none of the findings were ever tested.
Austin took a plea deal in exchange for the dismissal of his accessory to murder charge, which would require him to plead guilty to violating his probation by using drugs and alcohol that occurred two years prior to his father’s murder. He was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation.
Donna was convicted of murdering her husband and was sentenced to life in prison at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center. She will be eligible for parole in 2027.
In 2013, she appealed her conviction, claiming her defense team provided her with ineffective assistance of counsel, but her appeal was denied.
Til Death Do Us Part — The 22-Year Itch, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.